Marko’s early assessment of Ricciardo’s return

Helmut Marko, the Red Bull Motorsport Advisor, has given his first evaluation of Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Formula One at the Hungarian Grand Prix. After a successful Pirelli tire test following the British Grand Prix, Marko replaced Nyck de Vries with Ricciardo, granting the Australian driver a chance to compete in Grand Prix racing once again.

Friday’s practice sessions at the Hungaroring marked Ricciardo’s first time back in the car on track. However, the wet weather made the first session virtually unproductive. In the second practice, which was dry, Ricciardo managed to secure the 14th fastest time, outpacing renowned drivers like Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Sergio Perez.


Ricciardo after Perez’s seat

Daniel Ricciardo’s first appearance with AlphaTauri showed promising signs, finishing just over 0.4 seconds behind his teammate Yuki Tsunoda. Despite not pushing the limits during the outing, Ricciardo’s presence on the team has raised speculation about Sergio Perez’s future.

Perez now faces a critical moment in Saturday morning’s practice session and the revised qualifying format later in the afternoon. While most F1 observers believe Perez is secure until the end of the season and has a nominal contract for 2024, his recent struggles in qualifying could raise concerns.


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If Perez fails to make it to final qualifying for the sixth consecutive time, while his teammate consistently claims pole positions week after week, the decisive Red Bull management may consider parting ways with the Mexican driver.

Such a move would open the door for either Tsunoda or Ricciardo to potentially take over the coveted seat in the championship-winning car. As the season progresses, the competition within the Red Bull team intensifies, making every performance crucial for the drivers vying for the opportunity to compete alongside Max Verstappen.


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The Tsunoda challenge

With just this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix and the back-to-back event in Belgium before the summer break, Daniel Ricciardo has limited time to acclimatize to the AlphaTauri car, currently at the bottom of the championship standings.

As Formula One enters its final ten races in the autumn, the pressure is on Ricciardo to demonstrate that he is the superior choice over Yuki Tsunoda to fill the inevitable vacant seat that Sergio Perez might leave behind.

Both drivers have an opportunity to showcase their skills and make a strong case for securing the coveted position within the team. The competition between Ricciardo and Tsunoda will undoubtedly intensify as they strive to prove their worth to Red Bull’s management and secure a spot alongside Max Verstappen in the upcoming races.



Marko’s assessment after Friday practice

Despite the positive performance, he still trailed his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, by four-tenths of a second and 10 positions. Marko shared his initial assessment of Ricciardo’s comeback.

“He did well,” Marko told Motorsport Magazine.

“In the long runs, he was closer [to Tsunoda], but in the short runs, he was still lacking a bit.”


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2nd Practice reaction

The second practice session saw some unusual results, with established drivers like Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton falling down the order, while Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly showed impressive performances.

“In the long run, we were clearly the fastest, which was very encouraging, but not as convincing as usual.

“In a single lap, we still have to improve something as we were not fast enough. We have to fight for it more.”

Marko emphasized that there is still room for improvement in Ricciardo’s performance and hopes that the team can address the issues during the upcoming practice session. As Ricciardo settles back into the racing groove, his progress will be closely monitored by both fans and F1 enthusiasts, eager to witness his resurgence in the competitive world of Formula One.

READ MORE – Perez shocker: Verstappen expects Ricciardo as new team mate



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