Martin Brundle warns Daniel Ricciardo about this driver

Formula 1 legend Martin Brundle has expressed his astonishment at Daniel Ricciardo’s latest career move.

Sky Sports F1 broadcaster and former Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle has revealed his surprise at Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to make a “high-risk” comeback to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri. 

The announcement came on Tuesday that Ricciardo, after losing his McLaren seat at the end of 2022, would join Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri for the remainder of the 2023 season. 

This move marks the return of the Australian driver to the grid.

Despite Ricciardo expressing his desire for a top seat before considering a return to Grand Prix racing, he will now be driving for AlphaTauri, whose car has been the poorest performer in the 2023 season, earning just two points.

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Brundle, a veteran broadcaster in the sport, believes that while Ricciardo’s presence enhances Formula 1, his decision to return is surprising.

“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 stated.

“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’.”

Brundle acknowledges that Ricciardo must have experienced a challenging six months of SIM work and being away from the Formula 1 circuit, which likely influenced his decision to return. 

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The allure of being one of the 20 drivers on the grid is understandable. 

Brundle emphasised that Formula 1 feels like a better place when Ricciardo is racing and that he disliked seeing him on the sidelines throughout the weekends.

Assessing the situation, Brundle points out the high risk involved for Ricciardo, considering AlphaTauri’s car is arguably the slowest on the grid. 

He emphasised that Ricciardo must surpass Tsunoda and outperform the car in both qualifying sessions and races, which is an absolute expectation. 

However, Brundle also suggests that if Ricciardo can significantly outperform the car and secure a top-ten position, maintaining that position throughout the race, it could serve as his redemption.

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

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“He’s got to beat Tsunoda, he’s absolutely got to. 

“He needs to edge him in Qualifying 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.”