Martin Brundle reveals how Daniel Ricciardo can return to Red Bull

Nyck de Vries was only able to beat Yuki Tsunoda twice in 10 races prior to his sacking.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle has insisted that Daniel Ricciardo must beat Yuki Tsunoda, following the announcement on Tuesday that the Aussie will be replacing Nyck de Vries.

It was announced earlier in the week that the fan favourite would be replacing the rookie for the remainder of the 2023 season, starting next weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo will be returning to Red Bull’s sister team for the first-time since 2013, a move which has left Brundle “surprised”.

“I’m really pleased to see him back, but just my honest reaction was, ‘wow. Daniel’s going to do that, is he?’ It surprised me,” Brundle told Sky Sports News.

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“Daniel’s always talked about he’s lost his mojo and he needs to get his enthusiasm back, and so I didn’t think he’d take that, unless there’s another deal that goes with it, a ‘you do this and then down the road we’ll do that’.

“I’m sure he’s had six months of sim work and not being a Formula 1 driver and that will have hit him very hard. And so I can fully understand the attraction of being one of the 20 on the grid.

“My overriding feeling here is Formula 1 feels a better place when Daniel Ricciardo’s on the grid, and I hated seeing him having to loiter around all weekend.”

Ricciardo is without a doubt set to be driving the slowest car on the grid, something which’ll certainly make life tough for the 33-year-old.

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Driving for AlphaTauri could make or break Ricciardo’s ambitions to race in F1 next season, given that a poor performance could kill his career.

On the flipside, Ricciardo could give Red Bull something to seriously think about if he can tame the AT04.

He must defeat Tsunoda in Brundle’s eyes, with the pundit admitting that the move to AlphaTauri is a “high risk” one.

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“It’s high risk for Daniel in what is probably the slowest car on the grid,” Brundle said.

“He’s got to beat Tsunoda, he’s absolutely got to. He needs to edge him in qualy and in the races, that’s an absolute given as an expectation.

“Maybe he can outperform that car, if he can massively outperform that car and get it somewhere near the top 10 and keep it there in the race, then maybe it will be his salvation in that respect.”