F1: ex-world champion makes gloomy prediction on potential Daniel Ricciardo return

1980 F1 world champion Alan Jones has made a pessimistic prediction on the future of fellow Australian, Daniel Ricciardo.

In previous years, Ricciardo would have been preparing to show out in front of a home crowd when heading to Albert Park. However, this season, the Australian is not racing.

McLaren decided to replace Ricciardo with his compatriot, Oscar Piastri, for 2023. This came after an extremely underwhelming 2022 campaign for the ex-Red Bull ace. He finished the season with 37 points, almost a hundred behind teammate Lando Norris.

His struggle to get to grips with the MCL36 meant that McLaren went in a different direction for 2023. As a result, and in part due to his expensive salary as an eight-time Grand Prix winner, Ricciardo was without a seat.

Daniel Ricciardo still intends on returning to the F1 grid next year. But sadly, Alan Jones does not think this will be possible for the ever-popular figure.

Alan Jones’ Daniel Ricciardo F1 prediction

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Jones explained that he could not see his compatriot returning to the grid.

“I doubt [he will race in F1 in 2024],” said the Aussie, via The Express. “At the end of the day, there is probably no reason why Red Bull won’t re-sign Perez and Verstappen. I can’t see anybody at Ferrari going away, so I just can’t see where he can go.

“Obviously everybody likes to go out on a high note. It’s just unfortunate that for whatever reason – and I don’t even think he knows why himself – his performance dropped off. As I said before, I just can’t see him getting back into F1”.

Of course, there is still a long way to go in this 2023 season. Opinions change, contracts change, and many opportunities may become available depending on teams’ performances. However, the 1980 world champ also hinted at what he thinks caused Ricciardo’s decline.

“Really, in my opinion, I think he concentrated and spent a bit too much time on his activities out of the cockpit rather than in it. That’s my opinion.”

Despite being without a drive, Daniel Ricciardo can still enjoy some F1 fun in his new role at Red Bull.

Red Bull send Ricciardo on epic Australian road trip

As part of his job as reserve driver at Red Bull Racing, Ricciardo is also heavily involved in the brand’s marketing work. One such effort has seen the star take an F1 car on an enthralling off-road adventure across Australia.

In the nine-minute video, Ricciardo drifts a Red Bull RB7 along dirt tracks in the outback before outrunning a herding helicopter. Then, he blasts along the Sea Cliff Bridge with a Red Bull Air Race plane in hot pursuit.  

Finally, to top it all off, Ricciardo dances his F1 car around the iconic Mount Panorama.

Throughout this fantastic montage of stunning views, the Aussie also puts himself to the test with various challenges against other Red Bull athletes.

If you want to check out the video in full, it is available on Red Bull’s YouTube channel here.

This is the first of what will likely be numerous promotional appearances from Ricciardo. Other than events and shows, he will split his time with simulator testing, too.

Featured image credit: Getty