Daniel Ricciardo given clear mandate on how to secure permanent seat – “Maybe we have to find another solution”

Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo has spent this season on the sidelines after an F1 racing career that has already spanned over a decade.

The Australian driver is still keen on ensuring that he finds a way back into a full-time position, with rumours linking him with a permanent role at Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo. Credit: sportskeeda.com
Daniel Ricciardo. Credit: sportskeeda.com

Part of this reason is Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’ strained relationship, with the Dutchman reportedly keen to partner up with Ricciardo next term.

Although Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko had previously all but shut the door on Ricciardo making a return to the team, he did recently suggest that they would have a close look at his performances during Silverstone tyre testing.

If Ricciardo does indeed impress, the door would be open to both Red Bull and its sister team AlphaTauri.

With Ricciardo clearly seeming to be off the boil in recent years, perhaps AlphaTauri presents a more realistic option, especially with Red Bull now looking a serious contender to challenge for the Constructors’ Championship for a sustained period.

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost was asked whether he would consider signing the 33-year-old driver on a full-time basis.

While Tost praised Ricciardo’s driving ability, he explained the main way the Honey Badger could force an entry into AlphaTauri.

“The philosophy is quite clear, the performance decides,” Tost said.

“Of course, the team philosophy is to educate young drivers. But if young drivers are not currently there – they’re coming, some good young drivers, Iwasa is doing a good job, Hadjar is doing a good job, but it’s simply a little bit too early for them. 

“I see them earlier or later in our team but if the time is too early, then maybe we have to find another solution. But this has not been discussed so far. So far everything is like [as usual] with our team.”

The Red Bull junior drivers are headlined by Liam lawson, who is arguably the biggest name in the ranks.

Daniel Ricciardo and Nyck de Vries. Credit: marca.com
Daniel Ricciardo and Nyck de Vries. Credit: marca.com

He appears most likely to force a promotion into an F1 team if Red Bull chooses to play it that way.

“Liam has done a good job when he was driving for us last year in Abu Dhabi and he is currently doing a good job in Japan because it’s quite a tough championship over there,” he said.

“As I said before, it’s a performance question.

“We have to find out, we have to see which driver is first of all, available and matured enough and educated enough and ready to go for a Formula 1 car. This we will see. Currently, nothing has been decided.”

As for Nyck de Vries, Tost couldn’t help but accept that his time in the sport may end before the end of the current season.

Nyck has failed to match the performances of teammate Yuki Tsunoda and Marko recently even criticised him for his string of poor outings.

“In Formula 1 every driver has pressure,” Tost said. “We will see how Nyck is doing here, how Nyck is doing in Silverstone because he knows these race tracks.

“We must not forget that the rookie drivers nowadays are really in a difficult situation. Why? If you look to the first part of the season most of the race tracks they don’t know. They haven’t raced in Melbourne before in Formula 2 or Formula 3, they haven’t raced in Saudi Arabia or Miami.

“Baku, maybe, but in Baku we had the sprint race like here: FP1, qualifying for the race and then the qualifying for the sprint race. That means the weekends are flying away. And for the rookie drivers this is really very, very difficult.

(L to R) Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. Credit: skysports.com
(L to R) Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. Credit: skysports.com

“Now at least they come to race tracks which they know. It’s Austria, it’s Silverstone, Spa, Budapest, Monza and I think this helps more. It helps them be more confident.”

Tost was asked again if he felt Nyck would be able to see out the entire season at AlphaTauri.

“Nyck decides, not the team,” Tost said.

“If Nyck shows a good performance, why should we change him?”

Read more: Christian Horner bet against his own Red Bull driver; Punishment was to strip naked in front of team

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