Daniel Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri life starts with embarrassing blunder

AlphaTauri posted an image of Daniel Ricciardo's face photoshopped onto Nyck de Vries' body.

Daniel Ricciardo’s return to the Formula 1 grid this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix will likely be one of the most talked about topics across the event; however, it’s started with an embarrassing error.

It was confirmed last Tuesday that Ricciardo will be completing the remainder of the 2023 season for AlphaTauri, following the “brutal” sacking of rookie Nyck de Vries.

De Vries has been ousted after just 10 races, with the pressure now being on Ricciardo to challenge team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Ricciardo last raced for the Faenza-based team back in 2013, prior to replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2014.

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Red Bull’s sister team certainly seem pleased to have the fan favourite back, although a social media post on Monday hasn’t gone down well.

AlphaTauri posted an official image of Ricciardo in the team’s race suit, only for it to be discovered by fans that the team had just photoshopped the 34-year-old’s face onto De Vries’ body.

The image was quickly deleted, before AlphaTauri posted a photo of Ricciardo actually wearing the team’s race suit himself.

It’s certainly an embarrassing blunder for the side to have made, especially as they’ve gone under some criticism for treating De Vries so poorly.

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AlphaTauri do arguably have the worst car on the grid, something which made adjusting to F1 that much harder for the Dutchman.

It’ll also make life very challenging for Ricciardo, who was woeful in a considerable better McLaren.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz is ultimately surprised that the Aussie has accepted the seat at Red Bull’s junior team, given that the AT04 is significantly worse than either McLaren car he drove in 2021 and 2022.

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“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.

“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.”