Daniel Ricciardo certainly made the most of his day in Red Bull’s RB19 on Tuesday, with the Aussie having set a time at Silverstone which would’ve put him on the front row at the British Grand Prix.
Ricciardo took part in a Pirelli tyre test for Red Bull at the Silverstone International Circuit, where he was testing the tyre manufacturer’s 2024 rubber.
Whilst it’s unknown what compound he was using at the time, it was revealed by F1 reporter Chris Medland that Ricciardo posted a 1:27.415, seven-tenths slower than Max Verstappen’s best lap.
Fellow F1 reporter Lawrence Barretto shared that Ricciardo was so quick, that he would’ve qualified on the front row at the British GP.
Ricciardo’s test was clearly a success, even though he did spin early on during the session.
Nevertheless, Ricciardo’s work as Red Bull’s development driver has obviously gone down very well, given that it was also announced on Tuesday that he’d be replacing Nyck de Vries for the remainder of the season at AlphaTauri.
Ricciardo will be alongside Yuki Tsunoda at the Faenza-based team from next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, with his last appearance for Red Bull’s sister team having come in 2013.
It means Ricciardo is returning to the grid much sooner than expected, giving him perhaps a better chance of finding a seat in 2024.
Should Ricciardo perform well for AlphaTauri, then he’ll definitely give Red Bull something to think about should Sergio Perez continue to underperform.
One thing that is definite, is that the past six months have been crazy for the Australian driver.
Ricciardo discussed his tyre test ahead of Tuesday, where he admitted that he was fully aware that he’d “be watched”.
“Obviously I lost my seat and it was like ‘shit, my career is over type thing’,” Ricciardo told Crash.net a few days ago.
“And now, six months later I’m getting to drive the best car [in the tyre test].
“Even that alone I’m just taking it all in my stride. I’m very appreciative and excited. I know I’ll be watched. I know it’s not just ‘hey man, go and do some laps for us’.
“Of course at this level everyone’s watching. But there’s no pressure. I’m just treating it as something that’s going to be an amazing experience, something that’s going to spark me again.”