Ricciardo seen on track for Red Bull as Australian replaces…

Daniel Ricciardo took to the track at Silverstone on Tuesday for a two-day Pirelli tyre test, widely regarded as his audition with Red Bull. The Australian driver is eager to return to Formula 1 next season and has expressed openness to driving for AlphaTauri if it paves the way for a future opportunity at Red Bull.

After a challenging period with McLaren, Ricciardo’s form and performance have come into question. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner acknowledged the significance of the test, not only for Pirelli but also for Ricciardo himself. Horner highlighted the importance of assessing Ricciardo’s pace, mental state, and physical condition as he returns to a Red Bull car.




Depending on Ricciardo’s performance during the test, rumours circulated that he could even find himself driving for AlphaTauri in the upcoming Dutch Grand Prix. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, revealed that they are evaluating the situation at AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo’s test began on Tuesday morning, as he completed laps over the course of two days to evaluate Pirelli’s potential 2024 tyres, which are designed not to require tyre blankets.



Verstappen gives green light

His former teammate Max Verstappen expressed support for Ricciardo’s return, acknowledging his talent and experience. Verstappen highlighted Ricciardo’s comfort within the team and his desire to get back on track after a challenging period at McLaren.

“He does his job well in the simulator,” said the reigning World Champion, “but you know, that’s not something that surprises me either.

“He has had difficult years at McLaren, of course, but you don’t lose your talent. And of course he also has a lot of experience.

“I think he is also just comfortable with us at the moment. He says that himself, that he has taken a step back to reset himself. In the end, he just feels at home with the team. He has of course been with this team for a long time.”




Brundle big snub again


Horner gives green light

Team principal Horner was present to observe Ricciardo’s performance during the test. The Australian driver pushed hard, even spinning during the session, demonstrating his determination to make a strong impression.

“It’s an important test for Pirelli but it’s also going to be great to see him back in a Red Bull car and seeing where he’s at – both on pace and mentally, physically.”



READ MORE: Leclerc lambasts Ferrari “totally useless”


Perez watches on

While the focus is on Ricciardo’s audition, another driver paying close attention is Sergio Perez. The Mexican driver has fallen short of Verstappen’s performance and has struggled in qualifying, failing to make it to Q3 in the past five races. Red Bull has issued a warning to Perez, emphasizing the need for him to improve his qualifying performance.

As Ricciardo continues his test and evaluation with Red Bull, his performance will be closely scrutinized, potentially leading to significant changes within the Red Bull driver lineup, but already Red Bull officials have made a big change for the Australian for the next race.



Ricciardo replaces De Vries with immediate effect

Dutch media outlets, including the reputable De Telegraaf, report that he will replace Nyck de Vries with immediate effect. The Formula E champion and Dutch driver has struggled to score points this season, leading to disappointment among the senior Red Bull management team.

Ricciardo’s return comes earlier than anticipated, but he will now be joining a team that is significantly behind the rest of the field. It will be intriguing to see how the Australian driver tackles this new challenge.

The decision to bring in Ricciardo provides an opportunity for Red Bull management to assess Yuki Tsunoda. Tsunoda, who is nearing the end of his third season in Formula One, has yet to compete against a teammate who has achieved multiple Grand Prix victories. This move will allow the team to compare and evaluate Tsunoda’s performance against a seasoned and successful driver like Ricciardo.

READ MORE: Ricciardo replaces De Vries with immediate effect



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