Daniel Ricciardo made a quick and impressive impression in his Silverstone test, so much so that Red Bull booted Nyck de Vries from AlphaTauri and put Ricciardo in.
Red Bull had said they wanted to see how Ricciardo’s level of performance really stacks up by putting him at Silverstone in the RB19 after he has been limited to simulator work on the current package so far.
What followed was a chain of events leading to the firing of the first driver in F1 2023 and when you look at the other main headline you wonder if Red Bull are already starting to play the long game with their driver options.
Nyck de Vries out and Daniel Ricciardo in at AlphaTauri
How a simple Pirelli tire test can change the landscape at Red Bull! Of course, for Ricciardo, this outing was about much more than just lending a hand to Pirelli, and it was clear that he was pushing the boundaries of the spin captured on film during the day. Luckily no damage was done!
And with Ricciardo ensuring his simulator performance carried over to an impressive display on track, that spelled the end for De Vries who loses his place at Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri after just 10 races with no points scored.
Ricciardo’s first appearance back with the Faenza team is the Hungarian Grand Prix on loan from Red Bull until the end of the season.
“It’s great to see that Daniel hasn’t lost any form while he wasn’t racing and that the progress he’s made in his sim sessions is translating to the track,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“His tire test times were extremely competitive. It has been a very impressive ride and we are excited to see what the rest of the season brings for Daniel on loan at Scuderia AlphaTauri.”
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Daniel Ricciardo shines with time worthy of the front row British GP
Horner described Ricciardo’s times during the test as “extremely competitive”, and it’s understandable why the boss was impressed as the eight-time racer winner apparently clocked a time that would have put him on the front row for the 2023 British GP .
That is the claim of Formula 1 reporter Lawrence Barretto, sources who tipped him off about that golden nugget of information.
Of course, this was not the British Grand Prix, so there may have been another important factor…
Read more: Striking data emerges from Daniel Ricciardo’s Silverstone test report
Lando Norris shares Helmut Marko’s praise with Alex Albon
Could this Ricciardo-De Vries move be just the start of a wider Red Bull shake-up ahead? If the rumors are to be believed, the Ricciardo-shaped ghost now looms large over Sergio Perez who is struggling in the RB19 as Max Verstappen’s teammate.
However, it seems Ricciardo isn’t the only threat as both Horner and Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko have interestingly been far from shy in praising their former driver Alex Albon, and now Marko has McLaren star Lando Norris in the circle of praise.
It is known that Red Bull had an interest in signing Norris in the past.
“He has a contract with McLaren until 2025, but he is by far the strongest of the young drivers. His youthful character would also suit him best at Red Bull,” Marko told Kleine Zeitung.
Read more: Helmut Marko puts forward another driver ‘best suited’ for Red Bull
Martin Brundle warns not to count Lewis Hamilton
Former racer turned Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle believes British motorsport is in safe hands with George Russell and Lando Norris, a duo often cited as potential future world champions in the right machines.
But Brundle was also keen to point out that there is one more Briton with legendary F1 status who can still stay with them, namely Russell’s Mercedes team-mate, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
At a reunion of members of his former Tyrrell team, Brundle told PlanetF1.com: “We have a lot of good circuits in the UK, a lot of racing and we have some really good kids with Lando and George. but Lewis is still with them.”
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