After what has felt like an eternity- 26 days of banal driverless mundanity – Formula 1 is finally back.
The teams have arrived for the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend as Max Verstappen aims to complete another Red Bull sweepstake in his native circuit. Daniel Ricciardo however, returns with a new team after making the switch from Red Bull to AlphaTauri last July, and he’s made it very clear that he’s not planning on leaving the grid anytime soon.
Speaking with Sky Sports, the Australian driver said: “I’ve made it clear to, let’s say the big boys that I want to be – now that I’m back in, let’s say, the Red Bull family, it’s the only place I want to be and want to stay in.”
Ricciardo only joined AlphaTauri before the Hungarian Grand Prix, replacing the underperforming Nyck de Vries at the back of the Formula 1 grid.
WATCH Daniel Ricciardo reveals his big Formula 1 ambitions below.
The former McLaren driver joined Red Bull as a reserve following the end of his contract, and had been used, in parts, for commercial opportunities as the F1 season travelled around the world.
As Red Bull’s stand-in, Ricciardo has had one eye fixed on the form of a stuttering Sergio Pérez in Red Bull’s second car, but the Mexican driver has seemingly responded in turn, taking P3 in Hungary and securing a Red Bull 1-2 with Max Verstappen in Belgium.
But Ricciardo hasn’t discouraged Ricciardo from targeting a Red Bull seat in 2025.
“Of course, the dream is to get back to the big team but if it’s not that, then I made it clear that I want to be here.”Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said Ricciardo’s lap times during Silverstone would’ve put him on the front row, and all but admitted Daniel was in contention for Verstappen’s teammate in 2025.
But since moving to Red Bull’s sister team, the on-loan driver hasn’t been able to show the same pace in this year’s below-average AlphaTauri car.
If Ricciardo wants to be in the Red Bull conversation, he needs to start putting some points on the board.
Rolling into the Dutch Grand Prix and Circuit Zandvoort hasn’t exactly proven to be a happy stomping ground for Ricciardo in his last two races here, finishing outside the points in both – and finishing as far back as P17 last year. For context, Tsunoda has never finished higher than P19 here.
“I’m very excited about racing at Zandvoort, mainly to get the second half of the season going,” Ricciardo said. “Now, I’m very hungry and motivated and feel the way I want to feel.”
AlphaTauri, and therefore Red Bull, will have a big decision to make regarding the futures of their drivers at the end of this season. With Yuki Tsunoda’s contract expiring and Daniel Ricciardo’s loan finishing as well, two AlphaTauri seats could easily become available in 2024.