Daniel Ricciardo Replaces De Vries At AlphaTauri — Is Checo Next?
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
— 12 July 2023

Daniel Ricciardo Replaces De Vries At AlphaTauri — Is Checo Next?

— 12 July 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Formula 1 delivered yet another bittersweet plot twist overnight with the confirmation that Daniel Ricciardo will return as a full-time driver at the expense of AlphaTauri rookie Nyck de Vries (a wild outcome previously debunked by ESPN).

The news comes just days after the beloved eight-time race winner, who has been serving as Red Bull Racing’s third driver, conducted a tyre test for the team at Silverstone.

Ricciardo is set to get back behind the wheel starting from the Hungarian Grand Prix (July 23), and partner Yuki Tsunoda for the remainder of the ongoing season.

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And if all goes to plan during his forthcoming stint on loan to Red Bull’s junior team, it could very well lead to the “fairytale” closing chapter of his career he’s been holding out for; which the Honey Badger alluded to earlier this year while in conversation with BH:

“2024 with Red Bull.”

Considering the alleged tensions mounting between reigning two-time world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio “Checo” Perez; Red Bull’s reputation for being ruthless with their talent; as well as all the favourable sentiments Team Principal Christian Horner has been publicly expressing about Ricciardo… what’s to say history won’t repeat itself next seasons at the expense of Perez?

Sergio Perez (Rightfully) Disappointed In Max Verstappen
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Perez certainly hasn’t been making the most compelling case for himself lately, either. Since finishing P16 at Monaco, his season has been informed by inconsistency — in terms of both qualifying and race day — and just a single podium.

A harsh judgement given he won in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, and secured P2 in Bahrain and Miami, while maintaining second place in the driver’s standings, sure. But remember this is Red Bull Racing we’re dealing with here. Intense scrutiny is the name of the game.

If you’re underperforming by even the slightest margin with undeniably the best car on the grid, you’re out the door.

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“Obviously we’re also fighting for the constructors’ championship win, but I think I’m going to have to do it on my own at the moment,” Max Verstappen rather unsympathetically told media after yet another underwhelming weekend for his teammate; just to put the cherry on top.

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber noted: “Anyone can gain positions in the races. Even I can do that, even though I’m an old fart now… He has to sort qualifying out, he has to sort the mixed conditions out, and I think he’s going to be alright but at this level, you have to deliver in all conditions.”

Safe to say, the pressure is on for Checo, and depending on whether Daniel Ricciardo can recreate the magic he pulled off during his first tenure at AlphaTauri (then known as Toro Rosso), the Aussie might just get his wish.

Side note: spare a thought for Nyck de Vries — a genuine motorsport talent who was never truly given a fair shot, despite having to adjust to completely foreign machinery.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]