F1 world erupts as Daniel Ricciardo returns to the grid


Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo will return to the grid with Red Bull’s development team, Alpha Tauri, just six months after he was scrapped by McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo looks on during Formula 1 testing at Silverstone Circuit on July 11 in Northampton, England | Source: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Key Takeaways
  • Eight-time Grand Prix champion, Daniel Ricciardo, returns to the grid with Red Bull’s development team, Alpha Tauri.
  • The move comes just six months after Ricciardo was unceremoniously dumped by the McLaren team.
  • The move places Ricciardo a step closer to his “fairytale ending” – a place next to world champion Max Verstappen in Red Bull’s main team.
  • Ricciardo is one of Australia’s top-earning athletes, with an estimated wealth of $US29 million (Forbes, 2020)

Red Bull confirmed eight-time Grand Prix winner, Daniel Ricciardo’s, return to the F1 grid on Wednesday, with the 34-year-old joining its development team Alpha Tauri. The move is significant for Ricciardo, seeing him return to the same team he began his stellar career with in 2012.

Ricciardo’s highly publicised exile from F1, following his sacking by McLaren in late 2022, will officially end when he returns to the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday week.

The move place Ricciardo a step closer to joining Red Bull’s main team alongside world champion Max Verstappen – an outcome he recently described as a “fairytale ending” to his distinguished career.

Ricciardo – who  Forbes estimated had estimated wealth of $US29 million in 2020 – was unceremoniously dropped from the McLaren team in December a year ahead of schedule after failing to impress alongside driver Lando Norris. He was subsequently snapped up by Red Bull as a test and reserve driver and has been involved in a flurry of PR and media coverage, leaving industry commentators suggest it was a matter of “when, not if” he would return to the grid.

F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone | Source: Andre J Isakovic /AFP via Getty Images

Ricciardo’s news comes at the expense of former Alpha Tauri driver, Nyck de Vries, who was axed after reportedly being told by “ruthless” Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko that he had a four-race time frame in which to save himself. The Dutch driver only joined Alpha Tauri at the end of 2022 when he replaced driver Pierre Gasly, who had switched to Alpine.

A statement on Tuesday from Red Bull read: “Following a strong performance in today’s tyre test at Silverstone, Daniel Ricciardo will be driving for Scuderia AlphaTauri with immediate effect. Joining the Scuderia on loan from Oracle Red Bull Racing, Daniel will line up in Budapest for his first race.

Source: Twitter

Outside of racing, Ricciardo has an interest in food and wine. He spoke to Forbes Australia in March about his life away from the track and his collaboration with St Hugo Wines in South Australia.

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