Daniel Ricciardo makes F1 return to replace axed Nyck de Vries at Alpha Tauri
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Daniel Ricciardo will make his return to Formula One in 2023 to replace Nyck de Vries at Alpha Tauri for the rest of the season. The Australian driver, 34, will take the seat at the Red Bull owned team from the Hungarian Grand Prix after De Vries, 28, was dropped from the team after a disappointing start to the season for the driver.
Scuderia AlphaTauri have taken to social media to confirm that Ricciardo will be making his return to Formula One. In a statement, the team said: “Daniel is back! @danielricciardo, on loan from @redbullracing, will be racing for us for the remainder of the #F1 season, starting from the Hungarian GP.”
Multiple sources had speculated that Ricciardo would make his return before the summer break, with Dutch publication De Telegraff, claiming that he will take the wheel at the Hungarian race at the end of July after De Vries has failed to score a single point in 2023.
Rumours have continued to circulate regarding De Vries’ future at Alpha Tauri with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko reportedly giving the driver an ultimatum earlier in the year. A swift decision appears to have been made by team bosses after Marko said at Silverstone last weekend that “no specific time frame has been set” in regards to De Vries future with the team.
Marko went on to add: “There are a lot of changes going on within AlphaTauri at the moment. We are now putting everything together, and when the time comes, we will make a decision.” Alpha Tauri bosses have since made the decision to relieve Nyck de Vries from the team, bringing in Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo to finish the season.
Ricciardo has been in the reserve seat with the leading Formula One team for 2023 after being dropped by McLaren bosses at the end of last year. The driver has twelve years of experience within the sport and has previously raced for HRT, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Renault before his move to his former team McLaren in 2021.
The popular Formula One driver has been seen on the Silverstone track this week in the RB19 as part of a Pirelli tyre test, alongside Mercedes-AMG reserve driver Mick Schumacher.
Ricciardo is now set to make his return to F1 alongside Alpha Tauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda as part of the Red Bull junior team. The opportunity is a lifeline for the Australian driver who was dropped from McLaren last year in favour of Oscar Piastri after a couple of disappointing seasons for the team.
This could be the final chance for the reserve driver after being brought back to Red Bull for 2023 after being initially dropped from the team in 2018 after not being able to compete against current world champion Max Verstappen. Ricciardo then went on to join Renault where he solidified his nickname the ‘Honey Badger’ before replacing Carlos Sainz at McLaren in 2021.
Ricciardo claimed one victory at the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, but it was not enough to save the driver from being out of a seat for 2023. It is hoped that the move to Alpha Tauri will see the return of Ricciardo to Formula One for the 2024 season.