The Alpine team is looking for a driver for 2023, in addition to the already confirmed Esteban Ocon, after Fernando Alonso announced that he is going to Aston Martin next season, and that Oscar Piastri rejected a spot in the French team, having already signed with McLaren for next year, where he will replace the experienced Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo left Renault, now Alpine, at the end of 2020 when he struck a deal with McLaren, while the French team had hoped to continue with the Australian at that point, which may have left some resentment within the team.
The Australian driver had left Red Bull at the end of 2018, the team for which he won seven GPs, to join Renault in 2019.
Now Red Bull boss Christian Horner is hoping that Ricciardo’s departure from McLaren does not mean he will leave Formula 1.
“It’s a shame because I think Daniel is a great personality and a great driver. He’s obviously lost a bit, but it would be great to see him stay in the series,” Horner said.
Asked if if he were in charge of Alpine, he would hire Ricciardo, Horner replied: “I think I probably would, to be honest.”
“They’ve obviously known him for a couple of seasons, and he was very close to the team during his last season there, taking podiums, and I think he’s the kind of guy you might reconsider.”
“Obviously it wasn’t a great experience for him at McLaren for whatever reason, and you just have to think about some of the races he’s done for us, some of the wins he’s taken, the podiums, some of the impressive overtakes he’s been able to pull off. to do. That’s still there, I’m sure, and just needs a little reset,” Horner said.
After two disappointing years in which he was consistently beaten by teammate Lando Norris, confidence could be an issue for Ricciardo now, according to the Red Bull boss.
“As in all sports, confidence is a big element and for whatever reason he didn’t adapt to the car in two sets of regulations,” he added.
“That probably took away his confidence, but there’s still a very capable driver and you don’t forget how to deliver good results. I hope he gets another opportunity and gets back on the grid next year,” added Horner.
These words from the Red Bull boss could be empowering for Ricciardo, but even so, the Australian’s chance of being left off the Formula 1 grid next season remains high.