It’s been a tricky few years for Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. After leaving Purple Bull on the finish of 2018 to hitch the Renault F1 staff, he struggled to seek out his footing. After which, a swap to McLaren for 2021 proved to be a good worse transfer for the racer. Now, after being dropped from McLaren forward of the 2023 season, it feels like Ricciardo might need lastly discovered a job for subsequent yr, again at Purple Bull.
Ricciardo was ousted by McLaren earlier this yr after he didn’t dwell as much as the staff’s expectations. After profitable seven races with Purple Bull and clinching two podiums whereas at Renault, issues appeared good for his transfer to the British staff.
However, since becoming a member of them in 2021, the Aussie has struggled to become familiar with the automotive and was persistently outperformed by his younger teammate, Lando Norris. Regardless of his struggles on the squad, Ricciardo stays the primary McLaren driver to win a race since Jenson Button approach again in 2012.
In racing, nevertheless, one win can’t make up for 2 years of ache. So in August, McLaren introduced it could be ending Ricciardo’s contract a yr early and bringing in younger Australian racer Oscar Piastri to take his place on the Woking-based squad.
This left Ricciardo and not using a seat for 2023 and with few choices left on the grid.
Because it was introduced Pierre Gasly was transferring to Alpine, Nyck de Vries would fill the vacant seat at Alpha Tauri and Nico Hülkenberg emerged as the favourite for the seat at Haas, Ricciardo’s choices had been up.
Now, it’s emerged that he’s prone to tackle a reserve driver position at a prime staff subsequent yr. Based on Motorsport.com, the Australian is heading again to Purple Bull and the place it began to grow to be the staff’s third driver for 2023. The location reviews:
“The potential of a return to Purple Bull Racing in a reserve position had been mooted in current weeks. Ricciardo raced for the staff between 2014 and 2018, scoring seven of his eight wins for the staff and twice ending third on the planet championship.
“Though no formal announcement has been made by the staff, Purple Bull advisor [Helmut] Marko claimed Ricciardo was set to signal as a 3rd driver for subsequent yr, indicating the position can be mainly regarding ambassador occasions and present runs.”
As Purple Bull has Max Verstappen nailed down ‘until 2028 and staff mate Sergio Perez contracted till 2024, it’s unlikely Ricciardo will get known as again onto the grid with the squad any time quickly. As an alternative, he’ll probably simply be readily available in case one of many full-time drivers is pressured to overlook a race for any purpose.
In current weeks, Ricciardo appeared glad with taking a again seat within the sport subsequent yr earlier than working in the direction of a full-time return to the grid in 2024. In addition to the Purple Bull reserve position, he was additionally linked to a swap to Mercedes for a back-up drive subsequent yr.
What do you consider the swap? Is Ricciardo proper to tackle a lesser position within the sport subsequent yr? And, now that he gained’t be racing full-time within the sport, who ought to I help as a substitute? It’s presently a toss up between Nyck de Vries at Alpha Tauri and Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin.