If Daniel Ricciardo gets his way, he would take over Red Bull Racing’s second car in time for the 2025 Formula One season, according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
The 34-year-old Australian driver, who drove for Red Bull in 2014-18 before stints with Renault and McLaren, found himself without a seat in the 20-car championship for 2023. He signed with Red Bull to be their third driver, essentially a backup to stars Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Red Bull’s parent company loaned Ricciardo to its secondary racing team, AlphaTauri, for the rest of the season after AlphaTauri released struggling rookie Nyck de Vries. Ricciardo will drive for AlphaTauri for the first time at the Hungarian Grand Prix this Sunday.
“At the moment there’s only something in place until the end of the season,” Horner told the F1 Nation podcast this week. “So there’s no thoughts or expectations beyond that.
“I think Daniel is viewing AlphaTauri ... he firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull seat. That’s his golden objective. And by going to AlphaTauri, I think he sees that as his best route of stating his case for 2025.”
Ricciardo has won eight grand prix since debuting in Formula One in 2011, most recently the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. His best seasons were 2014 and 2016, when he finished third at year’s end.
Red Bull Racing has dominated the constructors’ championship standings in 2023, winning each of the first 10 grand prix thus far. Verstappen, of the Netherlands, has eight victories, including six in a row. The other two, in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, went to his Mexican teammate Perez.
Verstappen isn’t likely to be going anywhere, but Perez is only under contract with Red Bull through 2024, leaving an opening for Ricciardo to state his case for Perez’s spot.
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