“Would Be a Real Shame”: Daniel Ricciardo’s Potential “Rookie” Mistake Called Out by F1 World After Red Bull Switch Seems Unlikely

Published 06/25/2023, 1:32 PM EDT

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Are you missing Daniel Ricciardo and his “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” and “holy mac and cheese b**ls”? Because there’s a chance the F1 community might get to hear the Honey Badger make more such weird and comical radio communications in typical Ricciardo fashion next season. But before that, he’s finally going to get his chance to drive the RB19 after the British GP, where he’ll get in the car for three days for Pirelli’s tire test. Though it’ll be more than just a tire test for Ricciardo. It’ll be a test to see if he still has what it takes to compete in F1.

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This announcement came at a time when Sergio Perez is going through a dip in performance. After winning two of the season’s first four races, he’s lost touch with Max Verstappen. You would think that giving a chance to Ricciardo to prove himself in the RB19 would be to see if he’s fit to replace Perez. But Helmut Marko has no plans to get Ricciardo into that second seat. So which seat is he in contention for? The AlphaTauri seat alongside, most likely, Yuki Tsunoda.

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Alpha Tauri is Red Bull’s sister team. But the Red Bull administration mainly uses it to test its junior drivers and see if they can make it to a Red Bull seat. Tsunoda has done well so far this season, but his teammate, Nyck De Vries, has struggled compared to him. And Alpha might be looking to replace him at the end of the year. According to a Tweet by formularacers, “Daniel Ricciardo is a potential contender to join AlphaTauri next season, per Lawrence Barretto.” 

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The Red Bull Junior Program has a line of young drivers waiting to get their chance in F1, and two of them are in contention for the seat, too—Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa. Given that Ricciardo is 33, if he gets the seat in Red Bull’s “junior” team, it would make little sense. And fans were quick to point that out.

Fans are opposed to Daniel Ricciardo joining AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo is hoping for a fairytale ending to his F1 career at Red Bull. But fans think that occupying a seat at Alpha Tauri, which Red Bull has said many times is its team to test junior drivers, is not the way to go. 

Many users pointed out that Lawson deserves the seat more than Ricciardo, given that the Australian has already had his chance in F1.

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One user straight-up called it a shame if Ricciardo took the opportunity away from Lawson and Iwasa. 

Other users wrote about how Alpha Tauri is the “junior” team and should cater to junior drivers. Giving that chance to Ricciardo would be equivalent to robbing the junior drivers’ talent.

Ricciardo got an offer from Haas at the end of last year to replace Mick Schumacher, but he declined the offer to become the reserve driver for Red Bull. Although it was like returning home for him, one user thinks he should’ve just taken that seat at Haas if he’s so desperate for one now. 

Another user sarcastically mentioned how Ricciardo, the rookie, will go places and eventually make his way to the Red Bull seat.

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While everyone was debating whether it would be good for Ricciardo to join Alpha Tauri, one user wrote what a fun combination Daniel and Yuki would be.

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What do you think of Ricciardo’s chances of joining Alpha Tauri?

WATCH THIS STORY | Will Daniel Ricciardo Get Swapped in for Sergio Perez at Red Bull?

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Written by:

Aditi Krishnan

757Articles

One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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