Daniel Ricciardo seals F1 grid return as he joins AlphaTauri for rest of 2023

AlphaTauri have officially announced the return of Daniel Ricciardo to the Formula 1 grid.

The Australian, who has served as Red Bull’s reserve driver this season, joins the sister team “on loan” for the remainder of the 2023 F1 season.

Ricciardo comes in as the replacement for Nyck de Vries, who loses his seat after just ten races for the team. During this period, the Dutchman did not register any World Championship points for AlphaTauri, with his best finish being a P12 in Monaco.

Pressure had mounted on De Vries following a slow start to 2023, as well as his performance in comparison to teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

In contrast, for Daniel Ricciardo, this marks the return of one of the sport’s most popular drivers in recent years. McLaren moved on from the Australian at the end of 2022, leaving him without a drive for this season.

Ricciardo thus went back to the Red Bull set-up, the place where he had won seven Grands Prix and moved through the ranks of their academy.

Now, he will make his first 2023 appearance for AlphaTauri at the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix. This is not his first time with the team, though…

Daniel Ricciardo: his history with AlphaTauri

Ricciardo has previously driven for the Faenza-based squad. However, this was in their previous guise as Toro Rosso.

The Australian’s first campaign with STR saw him finish 18th in the driver’s standings, registering 10 points. Ricciardo earned his first career points during his Toro Rosso debut, finishing 9th at his home race in Melbourne.

This was also his best result throughout the 2012 season. He finished ninth on three more occasions.

Ricciardo’s second and last Toro Rosso campaign saw a solid improvement to 14th overall and 20 points. He beat teammate Jean-Eric Vergne that year thanks to a pair of then-career-best P7s in China and Italy.

These performances ultimately saw Ricciardo replace Mark Webber in the senior Red Bull team. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2023 and the eight-time race winner will want history to repeat itself. If he can show that he can still compete with AlphaTauri, Daniel Ricciardo might just be able to earn a shot with Red Bull in 2024.

Sergio Perez has come under increasing scrutiny as Max Verstappen continues to dominate Formula 1 this year. The Mexican has had multiple setbacks – particularly in qualifying – which have put his seat with the top team in jeopardy.

Now, with an established winner in Ricciardo waiting to pounce and boasting a chance to show his quality, Perez may be nervously looking over his shoulder.

Featured image credit: Getty