Daniel Ricciardo warned he is making a mistake

Daniel Ricciardo is returning to AlphaTauri for the first-time since 2013, when they were known as Toro Rosso.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz has admitted that he’s unsure why Daniel Ricciardo accepted the seat at AlphaTauri, to replace rookie Nyck de Vries.

It was announced on Tuesday whilst Ricciardo was driving Red Bull’s RB19 in a Pirelli tyre test that he’d be replacing De Vries for the remainder of the 2023 season, starting next weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Following the announcement, Ricciardo shared that he was “stoked” to be driving for the “Red Bull family” again, a statement which Kravitz has questioned.

Kravitz is unsure why Ricciardo didn’t just say that he was pleased to drive for AlphaTauri.

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AlphaTauri sit bottom of the standings and arguably boast the worst car on the grid, something which makes judging Ricciardo’s Pirelli test performance in Red Bull’s car somewhat irrelevant.

Given that Ricciardo left McLaren following his struggles with their car, Kravitz doesn’t get why he’s accepted a seat to drive a car which is considerably worse.

He wonders if Ricciardo has a “longer-term” plan than just simply driving for AlphaTauri for the rest of 2023, given that he could struggle in De Vries’ car.

“It’s all well and good basing it on the Red Bull RB19, which is the class of the field, but he’s not driving that car,” Kravitz said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

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

“The AlphaTauri had some upgrades at Silverstone and they finished further down than they normally do with a non-upgraded car. This is not a great AlphaTauri, it’s fair to say.

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“Not to say that they shouldn’t have replaced Nyck de Vries – clearly it wasn’t working – but the surprise is why Daniel Ricciardo would want to go in to that car that is worse than the McLaren he left last year, probably.

“That quote from Ricciardo I thought was odd. He said ‘I’m stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family’. He can’t even bring himself to say AlphaTauri! He doesn’t want to say I’m delighted to drive the AlphaTauri because it’s not a quick car.

“Maybe there’s some longer-term gain in it for Ricciardo, because there might well be some short-term pain if he can’t do any better than De Vries.”