Christian Horner: ‘I probably would sign Daniel Ricciardo to be honest’

Daniel Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of this season.

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, feels that Alpine should be approaching Daniel Ricciardo to bring him back to the team next year.

Horner and Ricciardo worked together between 2014 and 2018 at Red Bull, as the Australian won seven races.

Max Verstappen emerged in 2015, and was promoted to the Austrian side from Toro Rosso a year later, establishing a brilliant relationship with Ricciardo.

However, with the Dutchman earning priority status with the Milton Keynes-based outfit, Ricciardo decided to leave at the end of 2018 to join Renault – Alpine’s former guise.

READ: McLaren admit ‘aggressive approach’ as they try to fight Alpine

Following a disappointing 2019 campaign with the French side in an underperforming car, the 33-year-old established himself as one of the standouts on the grid in 2020, scoring two podiums in Germany and Italy.

After just two seasons with the Enstone-based side, the Aussie made the switch to McLaren, but that partnership has not worked out.

Ricciardo has been out-performed by Lando Norris, and despite having a contract until the end of next season, the decision was made during the summer to part ways at the end of this year.

That leaves him looking for another seat next season, and one of the potential options is returning to his former Alpine squad.

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He is among 13 other drivers under consideration, but Horner believes Otmar Szafnauer should be signing him back.

“I think I probably would [sign Ricciardo] to be honest with you,” he told the Beyond the Grid Podcast.

“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, I think you could rebuild him.”

Ricciardo’s victory in Monza last year was a reminder of his exquisite talents, and the Red Bull boss is certain that he can find them again.  

“It’s obviously not been a great experience for him for whatever reason but you just have to think back to some of the drives that 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, he just needs a bit of a reset,” explained Horner.

READ: McLaren surprised by Ferrari and Red Bull’s upgrades

“You don’t just forget how to deliver so I hope for him he gets another opportunity and gets himself back on the grid for next year.”

Haas and Alfa Romeo remain potential options for Ricciardo next season, while AlphaTauri now have both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda locked in.

That could change though, if Alpine decide to buy the Frenchman out of his Red Bull contract.