Daniel Ricciardo praises Formula 1’s ‘most underrated’ driver

Daniel Ricciardo will return to Red Bull next season, serving as the team’s third driver following his contract termination at McLaren.

Red Bull will be over the moon to have Daniel Ricciardo back with the team this year following his release from McLaren.

The Australian will play a vital role in the simulator will taking the strain off of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen with regards to commercial commitments.

The 33-year-old can consider himself unlucky to not have won a championship during his time with Red Bull, as he was constantly let down by unreliable Renault engines and has a genuine reason to be considered one of the most underrated drivers in the sport.

Ricciardo however has suggested that the most underrated driver in Formula 1 will still be on the grid next year, claiming that Alpine’s new signing Pierre Gasly does not necessarily get the credit that he deserves.

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“Personally I like Pierre Gasly,” he said.

“For the record, he’s not the only driver I like. I like him as a person, but also what he’s demonstrated, and he’s not the only one.

“Getting to the top of Red Bull, he got a really big opportunity with them and it was fairly short-lived.

“He got to the top, but as quickly as he got there, he got knocked back down. Now, he’s showing really good character traits, really good resilience because he’s still fighting.

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“Through all of that, he actually managed to win a race in 2020. He had a few podiums, so I think when everyone wrote him off, he came back even stronger.”

Gasly was promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso in 2019 to replace the Renault-bound Ricciardo but was demoted back to the energy drink giant’s sister team midway through the season after failing to live up to the high standards set by Max Verstappen.

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The Frenchman has impressed with AlphaTauri since his return to the team, picking up a shock win in Monza and often defying the expectations of the team.

With his team struggling to adapt to the major regulation changes in 2022 and finishing ninth in the championship, Gasly was granted his wish of a move to a podium contending team for 2023, as Red Bull negotiated a fair price for his release.

Having initially missed out on the services of Oscar Piastri, Alpine will boast the impressive driver lineup of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon this year, giving the team a real chance of becoming regulars on the podium.