‘Danny Ric’ will race for AlphaTauri for the remainder of the current season, starting at the Hungarian Grand Prix
Ever-smiling Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo is back in a Formula 1 seat full-time, replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. The team has confirmed he is “on loan” for the remainder of the season from Red Bull Racing, where he’s currently employed as a third driver.
Ricciardo was perhaps one of the most notable absences from the grid this year, having been left without a drive following a departure from McLaren at the end of 2022. After two tricky seasons, his contract to drive for the Woking-based team in 2023 was terminated via a mutual agreement, but he hasn’t had to wait long to get another taste of F1 racing, rejoining fold 11 GPs into the 2023 season.
Franz Tost, Scuderia AlphaTauri Team Principal, had this to say of the news:
“There’s no doubt about his driving skills, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straight forward. The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner. 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 said, quite simply, “I’m stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family!” He’s effectively returning to where his F1 career began – after being placed for a part-season of racing at HRT by Red Bull, Ricciardo competed for two full seasons at AlphaTauri under its former Scuderia Toro Rosso banner.
He’ll have his work cut out for him, though, with AlphaTauri struggling, finding itself last in the constructor’s championship with just two point on the table. His wealth of experience will no doubt be appreciated by the team as it tries to find better form.
Nyck de Vries (above) departs having not even completed a full season at AlphaTauri – even as far as the brutal nature of driver decisions within the Red Bull family go, this seems like a particularly harsh call. The Dutch driver’s fate might have been sealed by Ricciardo’s pace during the Pirelli tyre test at Silverstone – despite it being his very first try of a 2023 F1 car, his best lap would have been quick enough to land him a spot on the front row of the grid at last weekend’s British GP, said Channel 4 F1 correspondent Lawrence Barretto.