Daniel Ricciardo attends AlphaTauri seat fitting as he’s set to replace Nyck de Vries

Daniel Ricciardo is also set to take part in the post-British GP Pirelli tyre test for Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo’s one-year sabbatical could be on the verge of an early end, following reports that the Red Bull development driver could be set to replace AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries.

De Vries has endured a disastrous start to his rookie campaign, with the Dutchman having been heavily criticised all season so far.

He is currently one of two drivers yet to score a point this season, with his best result having been P14 in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

De Vries came under fire last weekend at the Miami Grand Prix after going into the back of Lando Norris at the opening corner, something which saw the Dutchman’s Q2 appearance become somewhat irrelevant.

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What hasn’t helped De Vries is that team-mate Yuki Tsunoda has made a significant step in the right direction this year, with the Japanese driver having proved that he can lead the Faenza-based team.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko had shared last season that he saw De Vries as someone who could lead AlphaTauri; however, his view on the 28-year-old has reportedly changed considerably.

Marko has reportedly given De Vries three races to show significant improvement or face the sack.

“The performance has been disappointing so far,” an unnamed Red Bull source is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.

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“If (Helmut) Marko thinks someone else can do better, he won’t fail to give them a chance.”

Should De Vries be dropped mid-season, then Ricciardo is supposedly the favourite to take his place, whilst junior driver Liam Lawson is also a candidate.

Some rumours have suggested that Ricciardo has already been in Faenza for a seat-fitting; however, this could simply be due to his development driver role.

Ricciardo is set to get a chance to show what he can do after the British Grand Prix in a Pirelli tyre test, where he’ll be testing for Red Bull.

“There could perhaps be another one after Monza in September,” Italy’s Autosprint quotes Ricciardo as saying.

What doesn’t look likely, though, is a future seat at Red Bull for Ricciardo, with Marko having stressed that Sergio Perez’s contract will be respected.

The Mexican is contracted until the end of 2024, meaning Ricciardo wouldn’t be able to replace him until 2025, something which would impact the Australian’s plans to return to the grid next season.

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“Checo signed a two-year contract and that also includes 2024,” Marko told RTL.

“With the performance that he delivers, there’s nothing to be said against him – on the contrary.

“He also has an incredible following in Mexico and other parts of South America.”