Formula 1

Christian Horner hoping Daniel Ricciardo gets “another opportunity” 

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Daniel Ricciardo is currently without a Formula 1 seat for 2023, after his deal with the McLaren F1 Team was ended early due to his poor performances and lack of pace compared to Lando Norris.

The Australian driver has been linked with the recently vacant BWT Alpine F1 Team seat, which was left open by Fernando Alonso‘s departure to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team. Despite a difficult time at McLaren, Ricciardo has shown his quality over his F1 career, picking up eight wins and a number of impressive podiums.

His time at Oracle Red Bull Racing was particularly successful, he won seven races in his time with the Austrian outfit, an impressive number considering he raced against the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in the peak of their dominance. He moved onto Renault in search of a Championship winning car, he performed well but ultimately the car fell short of the Australian’s expectations.

He moved onto McLaren in 2021 and struggled to adapt to the car, but won the team’s first race since 2012 at the Italian Grand Prix last year. Despite a win in his time at McLaren, it has failed to meet everyone’s expectations and McLaren announced that Oscar Piastri would drive for the team from 2023 onwards.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, still remains a big fan of the Australian after the pair worked with each other for many years at Red Bull. He thinks that there is still a quality driver in the Aussie and he deserves a seat. He spoke to the ‘Beyond The Grid‘ podcast recently and explained his thoughts on the Ricciardo saga.

“Unfortunately, he’s been handed his chips, which is a great shame because I think he’s a big personality and a great driver. He’s obviously lost his way a bit, but it would be great to see him remain in the sport.”

Horner spoke about a potential return to Alpine for Ricciardo, and was asked if he would sign him at the Enstone-based outfit.

“I think I probably would, to be honest with you,” Horner admitted.

“They obviously know him from a couple of seasons ago and he was very together during his last season there, scoring podiums, and I think he’s the type of guy that you could rebuild him.

“It’s obviously been not a great experience for him for whatever reason and you just have to think back to some of the drives he did for us, some of the wins he had, the podiums, some of the stunning overtakes he was capable of. That’s still in there, I’m sure, and it just needs a bit of a reset.”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Horner also commented on Ricciardo’s apparent lack of confidence in the sport as a whole, something he has seen first hand with his own drivers before, such as Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, who both got axed by the team due to poor performance.

“Like in all sports, confidence is a big element and for whatever reason he hasn’t got the feeling from the car across two sets of regulations,” added the Briton.

“That’s probably eked away at his confidence, but there’s still a very capable driver in there and you don’t just forget how to deliver.

“I hope for him he gets another opportunity and gets himself back on the grid for next year.”

The F1 2023 grid keeps changing as we head into the last six races of the season and Ricciardo is still one of the drivers without a seat, making the next weeks crucial for his progress.

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