Daniel Ricciardo under fire

Ted Kravitz has raised concerns about the motivation behind Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to jump into the AlphaTauri this season.

Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz has raised concerns about Daniel Ricciardo’s mindset after the Australian driver secured a drive with the struggling AlphaTauri team for the remainder of the season. 

Kravitz questioned whether the decision to join AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s sister team, was a wise one.

Kravitz acknowledged that Nyck de Vries, the Dutch rookie driver, paid the price for his poor performances, failing to secure a point in the opening 10 races of the season. 

However, he expressed surprise over Ricciardo’s move to AlphaTauri, considering that the team has one of the slowest cars on the grid.

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While Ricciardo’s testing times in the Red Bull RB19 were impressive, Kravitz emphasised that he would not be driving that car. 

Instead, he would be piloting the AlphaTauri, which is arguably one of the slowest cars on the grid and a step down from the McLaren he left last year.

“It’s all well and good to point to [Daniel’s] testing times in the Red Bull RB19, which is the class car of the field, but the reality is Ricciardo’s not driving that car,” Kravitz said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“He’s driving probably one of the slowest cars on the grid, if not the slowest, which is the AlphaTauri.”

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Kravitz found it odd when Ricciardo referred to being “back on track with the Red Bull family” in the press release announcing his move, rather than mentioning AlphaTauri by name.

“That quote, I thought was odd. He can’t even bring himself to say AlphaTauri,” he said.

He raised questions about the short-term challenges Ricciardo might face if he is unable to outperform his predecessor, Nyck de Vries.

“There might be some short-term pain [for Ricciardo] if he can’t do any better than de Vries.”

The pit-lane reporter emphasised the importance of Ricciardo seizing his opportunity and surpassing his new teammate, Yuki Tsunoda. 

“My only question is, not that they shouldn’t have replaced Nyck de Vries – clearly it wasn’t working … the surprise is why Daniel Ricciardo would want to go into that car and a car that is worse than the McLaren he left last year, probably.”

Ricciardo had returned to Red Bull as a reserve driver this year after ending his partnership with McLaren earlier than planned due to two unsuccessful seasons.

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Recently, Ricciardo took part in a tyre test at Silverstone, England, where he showcased competitive lap times. 

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, expressed his satisfaction with Ricciardo’s performance during the test and expressed excitement about what the rest of the season holds for him at AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo is set to make his return at AlphaTauri at the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 21.