Daniel Ricciardo admits he wants to kick out Sergio Perez

Daniel Ricciardo will miss the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix due to the hand injury he sustained in the Netherlands several weeks ago.

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he “would love” to return to Red Bull as a full-time driver in the future, but for the time being he’s prepared to work his way “back up”.

Ricciardo originally returned to Red Bull at the start of 2023 as their development driver, following his departure from McLaren after his contract for this year was terminated, making room for Oscar Piastri.

The fan favourite has since recognised that his McLaren exit was the best thing for him, as it gave him a chance to recover from what was a testing period for him.

Whilst at the Woking-based team, Ricciardo looked less and less like his typical bubbly self, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner having admitted that the Aussie “picked up a lot of bad habits” at McLaren.

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Horner made Ricciardo work in the simulator with some of his old team from when he raced for Red Bull to try and get back to his usual self, something which has certainly been a success.

“He had picked up a lot of bad habits,” Horner admitted, as reported by Grandpx.news.

“It took some of his old engineering team to unpick some of those and very quickly, and in a virtual world, get him back on a par with what we were used to.”

The development role initially gave Ricciardo a chance to take a step back from F1 and focus on himself, whilst also working with the Austrians in the simulator.

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Whilst the move was questioned by many at first, it appears to have been the best thing for his career, as he’s shown great pace since being moved to AlphaTauri to replace Nyck de Vries.

Of course, his hand injury has been a setback, although being given a deal to race for AlphaTauri next season shows the belief the Red Bull family still have in him.

Returning to Red Bull was a significant moment for the eight-time race winner, who has revealed that Horner welcomed him back with “open arms”.

“In terms of what I felt coming back into the family, his investment in me, his interest, the open arms, I feel he’s been a really big supporter. He really wanted me to get back to a level he knows I’m capable of,” Ricciardo revealed.

“A lot of people probably lost a little bit of faith in me over the last couple of years, but I felt like the things he was doing to make me comfortable, setting me up with (former race engineer) Simon (Rennie), he still believes I can do it, and he just wants to see it.”

Ricciardo has made it perfectly clue to the media and to the Red Bull boss that his return to the family has been done with a goal in mind, to race for the team once again.

He last raced for Red Bull in 2018 prior to his move to Renault, although he’s widely expected to be promoted back into the outfit in 2025 to replace Sergio Perez, should the 34-year-old perform to a high standard.

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Racing alongside Max Verstappen again is the target for Ricciardo, who’s more than happy to work for the seat.

“I told Christian ‘Look, now that I’m back in the family, I feel so much happier and like myself that I don’t want to leave’,” Ricciardo added.

“The big picture is that I would love to get back to the top team. If it means next year I’m working my way back up, that’s also exciting,” he said.