Lewis Hamilton breaks silence on Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull return

Lewis Hamilton has voiced his opinion on Daniel Ricciardo's comeback after defending the Australian driver's talent last season.

Lewis Hamilton has made his thoughts on Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 return clear, as he previously defended the Australian driver when he was dropped by McLaren last year. 

Hamilton believed that the eight-time race winner should still have a place on the grid, arguing that his talents would be wasted as a reserve driver. 

The seven-time champion shared his opinion after Ricciardo was linked with a potential third-driver role at Mercedes for the 2023 season.

Expressing his view, Hamilton stated, “I think he should be racing, personally. 

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“I think he’s far too talented and he’s earned the right to be amongst us all racing. 

“If he’s part of our team, that’d be great, but a third role is not really what’s best for him. 

“If I was managing him, he’d be racing.” 

Ricciardo, grinning at Hamilton’s assessment, agreed with the Mercedes star, affirming his desire to be on the grid.

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Ricciardo said, “As Lewis said, I do want to be on the grid, I do want to race. 

“I touched on a few weeks ago that although this has been a challenging time in my career, it hasn’t taken the love of the sport away from me and that desire to still be here and still compete.”

After securing a reserve role at Red Bull for the 2023 season, Ricciardo participated in demonstration runs and sim sessions for the team. 

However, he will now make his racing comeback at the Hungarian Grand Prix after impressing Red Bull bosses during a post-British Grand Prix Pirelli tire test. 

Reports suggest that Ricciardo’s lap time during the test was so impressive that it would have placed him on the front row of the grid for the recent Grand Prix. 

Nyck De Vries, the Dutch driver, has been dropped from AlphaTauri after just 10 races this season, while Ricciardo is set to join Red Bull’s junior squad at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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De Vries failed to score any points this season and had only outperformed his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, on two race days. 

Ricciardo expressed his delight at making a race return so soon after temporarily leaving the grid, stating, “I’m stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family.” 

AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost also expressed his satisfaction with having Ricciardo under his wing, saying, “There’s no doubt about his driving skills, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straightforward.”