Daniel Ricciardo is back in F1 after replacing Nike de Vries at Alfadauri ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix; Watch all sessions of the Hungarian GP live on Sky Sports F1; Lights out at 2pm on Sunday; F1 Juniors will be live on Sky Showcase and Sky Sports Mix
18:07, UK, Tuesday 18 July 2023
Christian Horner has explained the reasons behind Daniel Ricciardo returning to F1 to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.
Two days after the British Grand Prix, news broke that Ricciardo would make a surprise mid-term return after losing his seat at McLaren for the opening 10 races of the 2023 season.
The Australian was in the middle of a tire test at Silverstone after De Vries won’t drive for AlphaTauri from this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix – live. Sky Sports F1With Sky F1 Junior coverage on Ski Showcase And Sky Sports Mix.
„Nyck is a very talented driver, a Formula E champion, a Formula 2 champion, he’s obviously got a lot of experience, he’s not a young driver from an age perspective,” Horner said on the F1 Nation podcast. „And I don’t see how it fits into the junior program. It’s almost stop gap.
“A little quicker than expected, bearing in mind we haven’t finished testing, Helmut [Marko] Talked to Nyck, and he was the one who hired him. He was the one who talked to Nyck about Lab 11 of the experiment, I think.”
He added: „It obviously became a difficult situation for Nyck de Vries,” Horner explained. „But there was a lot of expectation on him because, with no experience in Formula 1, he is a very experienced driver.
„I think there’s a general feeling that Nyck hasn’t hit the right target. And then the question is, what are the options if we change things?
„From a Red Bull Racing point of view, the most interesting option for me was to see how Daniel performs. So that decision was made. It happened very quickly and here he is at the Hungarian Grand Prix.”
Ricciardo eyeing 2025 Red Bull seat
The consensus is that if Ricciardo overtakes Yuki Tsunoda at Alfadari in the second half of the season, he will put pressure on Sergio Perez for the Red Bull seat.
Perez has struggled recently, missing Q3 in the last five events and taking just one podium in the same period. Meanwhile, teammate Max Verstappen continues on a six race win streak.
Horner confirmed Perez will be signed for next year and the plan is to keep the Mexican alongside Verstappen at Red Bull.
„Something is in place at this point [for Ricciardo] Until the end of the season. There are no thoughts or expectations beyond that. Our drivers are going to be Max and Sego again next year,” said the Red Bull team principal.
„But it’s always good to have talent in reserve. Daniel is looking at Alfadauri for a 2025 Red Bull seat. That’s his goal and aim. He sees it as the best route to 2025 by going to Alfadauri.”
On Ricciardo’s mindset ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Horner added: „Firstly, does he want to do it? To be clear? Stepping into the AlphaTauri is very different to driving a Red Bull car. There will certainly be challenges. .
What we need to be sure of: Is he up to the challenge of scraping out of Q1? He was very happy to be back in that situation to get back on the grid and be a Formula 1 driver again.
„What you have to remember is that Daniel drove for us for five years and won seven races – some incredible performances. He drove with Max for three years and the margins between them at that stage were very good.
„He decided to leave the team and explore other options that didn’t suit him. But the underlying talent was there. Red Bull has a reputation for being tough on its drivers, but every driver needs a different situation. An arm around the shoulder or another approach, we’re taking the same approach with Sergio – his We support him even in difficult times.
„In the junior team, there are high expectations, but Daniel is not a junior driver. He has already proven himself during his time with us. So we have to try to rediscover the form that we know he is capable of.”
Live Hungarian GP schedule from Sky Sports F1
Thursday 20th July
2pm: Drivers press conference
Friday 21st July
8:55 am: F3 practice
10 am: F2 exercise
12pm: Hungarian GP practice one (session starts at 12:30pm)
2pm: F3 Qualifying
2:45 pm: F2 Qualifying
3:40pm: Hungarian GP practice two (session starts at 4pm)
5:15pm: F1 show
Saturday 22nd July
8:45 am: F3 sprint
11:15am: Hungarian GP practice three (session starts at 11:30am)
1:10pm: F2 Sprint
2:15 pm: Hungarian GP qualifying (Sky Showcase)
3pm: Hungarian GP Qualifier (Sky Showcase)
5.00 pm: Dead qualification notebook
Sunday 23rd July
7:20 am: F3 feature race
9am: F2 feature race
11am: Porsche Super Cup
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – Hungarian GP Build-up
1:30pm: F1 Juniors: Hungarian Grand Prix (Sky Sports Mix and Sky Showcase)
2pm: Hungarian Grand Prix
4pm: Checked flag: British GB reaction
5pm: Dead Notebook
The arrival of Daniel Ricciardo and the first F1 Juniors headline the Hungarian Grand Prix! You can watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 from July 21-23. Get Sky Sports
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