F1 legend Damon Hill has appeared to shut down rumours Daniel Ricciardo would return as a middle field driver. Ricciardo recently hinted at a return to the grid after feeling the excitement at the Australian Grand Prix.
After having his contract at McLaren ended, Ricciardo returned to Red Bull in a reserve driver role behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. But the Aussie revealed in March that he hopes to back on the grid in 2024.
Ricciardo gave a hint during the Australian GP that he liked being back at Red Bull when F1 commentator Ted Kravitz said it was unusual seeing him on the pit wall and not driving.
And Hill as spoken to the Sky Sports F1 podcast and doubled down that Ricciardo wouldn't want to be a midfield role on his return. “Well,” he said, “they had a seat fit at AlphaTauri and so that’s set chins wagging."
“And realistically, what has Daniel Ricciardo got to gain by going up against either Nyck or Yuki Tsunoda in an AlphaTauri. “He’s been there, he’s done that, he’s not after that. There’s nothing more to this than if there is a need for a reserve driver situation then he might jump in.
“But I can’t see him [doing it]. He’s already said that he’s not interested in doing a middling team, he only wants to be in a car that can win.”
Daniel Ricciardo hints at F1 grid return
The Aussie gave a huge hint last month to F1 commentator Ted Kravitz that he was keen to return.
“I look good in these colours though right?” The Australian was clearly referring to his return to Red Bull.
And in his latest interview with ESPN, Ricciardo hinted that he could be eyeing a spot as the second driver at Red Bull. “I’ve been in the simulator, but I will drive the RB19 (for the first time) in July after the Silverstone race,” Ricciardo said.
“Then maybe I’ll get another one after Monza as well in September. I’m certainly excited to drive a fast car, but also a car that maybe still feels familiar to me – it does a little bit in the sim.
“But I’m just excited to drive again and to just try to remind a team obviously I once had a lot of success with that I can still turn a fast lap.”
The second driver for Red Bull is Mexican Sergio Perez who is currently second to No.1 driver and world champion Max Verstappen. The pair reportedly share a frosty relationship, but that doesn't mean it will be any easy task for Ricciardo to come back as a lead driver.
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