Daniel Ricciardo told his Formula 1 career is over

Alan Jones is the last Australian to have won the Australian Grand Prix, with his home victory coming in 1980.

1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones has given his honest opinion on Daniel Ricciardo’s chances of returning to the F1 grid in 2024, ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

To this day, Jones is the only Australian to have ever won an F1 world title, something Ricciardo never really came close to doing.

Whilst Ricciardo never claimed a physical title, he is arguably the peoples’ champion, something which would probably go down well with the Red Bull development driver.

Given that Ricciardo isn’t on the grid in Australia this weekend, it has been very odd to see all the build-up based around fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri, who’s preparing for his first home race.

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Ricciardo is a rockstar in his home country and is going to be in attendance; alas, from the back of Red Bull’s garage.

Should either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez be unable to compete then he would presumably be called into action, but the chances of that happening are slim.

It’s likely been an odd start to 2023 for Ricciardo following his departure from McLaren, especially given how many issues the Woking-based side have faced since his exit.

Perhaps McLaren’s struggles will give Ricciardo the confidence that his poor performances weren’t entirely his fault, although, there is no questioning that his departure was ultimately the right decision.

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Ricciardo’s form did dip considerably in 2022 and for the bulk of 2021, with Jones believing the 33-year-old’s priorities weren’t in the cockpit.

“I don’t think he even knows himself [why his form disappeared]. I just think he went off the boil,” Jones told the Herald Sun.

“Really, in my own opinion, I think he concentrated and spent a bit too much time for his activities out of the cockpit rather than in it. That’s my opinion.”

Jones also doesn’t see Ricciardo actually returning to the grid next season either, given that the only seats available are likely to be towards the back of the field.

The 1980 World Champion therefore believes that in actual fact, Ricciardo’s F1 career might be over.

“I don’t think he will get a drive at Red Bull unless something happens to the two current drivers [Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez],” added Jones.

“I can’t see him doing a Grand Prix.

“I doubt [he will be on the grid in 2024]. At the end of the day, there is probably no reason why Red Bull won’t re-sign Perez, and obviously, Verstappen.

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“I can’t see anybody at Ferrari resigning or going away, so I just can’t see where he can go.

“Obviously, everybody likes to go out on a high note, and it’s just unfortunate that for whatever reason, and I don’t even think he knows himself, why his performance dropped off.

“As I said before, I just can’t see him getting back into Formula 1.”