Ricciardo Returns to F1 Paddock After AlphaTauri Axes Nyck de Vries

Alexi Falson

Australia’s Danian Ricciardo is set to make his return to the world of Formula 1 after Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri, axed Dutch driver Nyck de Vries following a lacklustre debut for the team.

After ten races in the 2023 F1 calendar, Nyck de Vries is tied in last place with Williams’ Logan Sargeant, while teammate Yuki Tsunoda is in seventeenth place with two points on drivers’ championship table.

By the look of it, AlphaTauri is willing to wait no longer to pair Tsunoda up with a more competitive teammate and made news of the switch public shortly after the British Grand Prix wrapped up – where de Vries finished in 17th place.

Speculation that de Vries could face a mid-season axing began swirling after Red Bull advisor, Helmut Marko said in a recent podcast that chief, Christan Horner was right to question Nyck’s spot in the number-two AlphaTauri car.

That means Daniel Ricciardo has a little more than a week to get acquainted with his AlphaTauri car, and will be in the hot seat for the upcoming Hungary Grand Prix on July 23.

He said that the two disagreed “not often, but sometimes” about driver signings, adding that their last disagreement centered on de Vries, whom he had advocated for.

Marko concluded that “at the moment, it looks like he [Horner] was right,” after de Vries struggled to match teammate Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying and race pace.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team,” says Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Team Principal, Franz Tost.

“There’s no doubt about his driving skills… the team will profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner,” he said, adding that “I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri and I wish him all the best for the future.”

Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 career has seen the West Australian rack up eight Grand Prix wins, 32 podiums, three pole positions and 16 fastest laps across 232 race starts.

His first F1 start culminated with a seat in the HRT F1 team in 2011, where he moved to Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2012 until graduating to Red Bull Racing in 2014 where he remained until 2018 and clocked-up three wins in the 2014 season, followed by one win per season in 2016-17, and two more Grand Prix victories for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in 2018.

From there, Ricciardo moved to Renault where he raced for two seasons before switching to McLaren alongside Lando Norris, taking out a shock victory at Monza.

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