Formula 1: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo eyes 2024 return despite Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez dominance

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Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful of returning to the grid for 2024 Formula 1 season

The second Miami Grand Prix took place last weekend with both Red Bulls once again taking the top spots on the podium. Max Verstappen was on an unassailable mission as he went from P9 to finish first, ending his race over five seconds ahead of polesitter Sergio Perez.

However, as we head into a weekend break, Red Bull’s reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo is hopeful that he can prove to the current top dogs in the sport he still has what it takes to perform on the grid.

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Speaking in Miami, the Australian said he had “unfinished business” in Formula 1 and looks forward to reminding his team what he can do. Ricciardo returned to Christian Horner’s franchise over the winter after having his contract terminated by McLaren a year early.

The 33-year-old left Red Bull initially in 2018, joining Renault. After a year with the French-based franchise Ricciardo moved to McLaren where he won his eighth Grand Prix at Monza but in August 2022, it was announced Zak Brown had bought out the rest of Ricciardo’s contract.

Daniel Ricciardo eyes 2024 return to the gridDaniel Ricciardo eyes 2024 return to the grid
Daniel Ricciardo eyes 2024 return to the grid | Getty Images

What did Daniel Ricciardo say?

Ricciardo spoke to Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater at the Miami Grand Prix saying: “I’m really enjoying this year and I think I’ll continue to enjoy it but by next year I think I’ll certainly be eager to get back on the grid and compete. I feel like there is still some unfinished business. I’m continuing to do the simulator. I’m going to jump in the car in July to get back behind the wheel.

“I’m sure that will really stimulate me and give me all those feels back. Naturally I’m going to put a bit of pressure on myself for that and try to remind the team that I can still do it. We’ll see where it goes. I know i’ll be ready to put myself in a position to be back on the grid next year.

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“I am staying in shape. I’m giving myself a bit of mental time out but I love playing sports and I love being active, so I haven’t allowed myself to get too out of shape.”

Where could Daniel Ricciardo go?

Ricciardo may be hoping for an F1 return but finding a spot could prove the tricky part. Championship leader Max Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull until 2028 and will not be going anywhere. Sergio Perez, on the other hand, could be gone by the end of next season.

Perez sits 14 points behind Verstappen in the driver’s championship and knows he must perform this year if he is to stay on in 2025. Ricciardo has said he wishes to remain within the top teams but a spot at Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri could be the most likely option if he is wanting a seat next March.

AlphaTauri do not yet have their drivers confirmed for 2024. Yuki Tsunoda has only two points finishes so far while rookie Nyck de Vries has been involved in several collisions and sits with no points after the first five races.

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Ricciardo will be testing ahead of the Silverstone Grand Prix later this year.

When is the next Grand Prix?

Formula 1 will return next weekend, Sunday 21 May, for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola.

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