Daniel Ricciardo has had a fantastic return to F1, having delivered two strong performances since in Hungary followed by Belgium. The Australian not only out-qualified new AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda in his first race back but also beat him during the main race. If the 34-year-old continues to perform in this fashion, he could be a strong candidate for the Red Bull seat next year. In fact, his recent performances seem to have given him a boost.
This for Ricciardo does not bode well for Tsunoda, who is also keen on getting that second Red Bull seat. The Japanese driver has already stated in an interview earlier this year that the “slowest” between him and Ricciardo will not reach Red Bull. While Tsunoda is aware of how F1 works, he will not appreciate a recent remark made by an F1 expert, Ted Kravitz regarding this satiation.
Ted Kravitz believes Daniel Ricciardo is AlphaTauri’s team leader
Yuki Tsunoda was the undisputed team leader until a few races ago when he was Nyck de Vries’ teammate at AlphaTauri. However, he seems to have lost that now with eight-time Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo joining him.
Speaking of the same, Sky Sports expert Ted Kravitz said (as quoted by foxsports.com.au), “I am sorry Yuki but Daniel Ricciardo is clearly the team leader now“. Kravitz made this remark after Tsunoda finished a whopping 17 seconds behind the Australian at the Hungarian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
However, it is fair to say that it did not take long for Tsunoda to respond. This is because in the very next race in Belgium, the 23-year-old outperformed Ricciardo by scoring a point for the team. With both Ricciardo and Tsunoda eying that second Red Bull seat, it will be interesting to see if the Milton-Keynes-based outfit do consider them as ideal replacements for Perez’s seat.
Horner reveals Ricciardo’s ambition is to target Perez’s seat
Soon after Red Bull confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo would replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri for the rest of the 2023 season, Christian Horner made the Perth-born driver’s ambitions clear. Horner explained (as quoted by nl.motorsport.com) how Ricciardo is now eyeing the second Red Bull seat by using his opportunity at AlphaTauri this season to showcase that he still has got what it takes to compete at the highest level.
However, if Ricciardo is to do that, he will have to be at his very best. This is because he not only has to perform better than Sergio Perez, who currently has the second Red Bull seat, but also outshine Tsunoda and reserve driver Liam Lawson. If Ricciardo is able to do so, Red Bull could very well give him an opportunity to return to the team.