Telling signals from Helmut Marko and Christian Horner at the Hungarian GP have convinced fans that Daniel Ricciardo will replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull
- Daniel Ricciardo finished 13th in his debut for AlphaTauri in Hungary
- The 34-year-old Australian will return to the Red Bull family next season, which has sparked talks
- Max Verstappen’s win in Hungary gave Red Bull a new record
Two altercations on the grid just before the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix have convinced F1 fans that Daniel Ricciardo’s return to the Red Bull driver is imminent.
In scenes that caused a stir on social media, many fans speculated the Australian would race alongside leaders Max Verstappen next season after being greeted by two of the team’s top captains.
Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko and team principal Christian Horner both offered their congratulations to Ricciardo as he waited on the grid for the race to start before finishing 13th on his debut for AlphaTauri.
Sergio Perez finished third behind Verstappen despite the team’s car utterly outclassing the rest of the field and numerous fans feel he is on loan time with Red Bull.
“Lmao they want him in this RB so bad they won’t even hide it.” “Decent kid favorite behavior,” a fan posted on Reddit after seeing Marko and Horner take the time to visit Ricciardo.
Another post on Twitter: “RIP Perez in second place.”
Red Bull boss Helmut Marko (pictured right, circled) sent F1 fans into an uproar after wishing Daniel Ricciardo the best of luck ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner (circled, right) also conveyed his best wishes to Ricciardo in Hungary
Helmut Marko, Pyry (Dan’s trainer), Franz Tost and Christian Horner (look how excited he was!) wish Daniel Ricciardo the best of luck before the race ❤️
He’s so loved, he’s so supported, he’s listened to! and he knows he’s back with his family… I LOVE THIS SO MUCH 凉 pic.twitter.com/Lo7MdKXlJ1
– ece ③ (@ricciardopics) July 23, 2023
Marko was impressed with Ricciardo’s drive at the Hungaroring, especially given that he fell behind the entire field after a collision early in the race.
His elated welcome to the Australian was unusual for the notoriously dour head of Red Bull’s driver development programme.
Ricciardo also landed ahead of AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who finally crossed the finish line in 15th place.
“It was a very confident and mature performance,” Marko told Sky Sports Germany.
‘He [Ricciardo] lost three to four places due to the collision [with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu] after the start. Thirteenth place is okay.
“But it’s also the positive impulses that he brought to the team and a stabilization of the technical statements and changes – the driver change worked perfectly.”
Perth-born Ricciardo recently replaced Dutchman Nyck de Vries, who was axed after failing to take a point in ten races.
The Aussie was relatively happy with his own performance but knows it will be difficult to get into the top 10 with AlphaTauri – a Red Bull-owned company.
Daniel Ricciardo recovered from a slow start to finish 13th at the Hungarian Grand Prix
The Australian returned to the sport earlier this month after signing a short-term deal with AlphaTauri to replace Nyck De Vries
Ricciardo (pictured in action in Hungary) returns to the Belgian GP on July 30
After his stint as a substitute, he feels “full of energy” after being replaced by fellow Australian Oscar Piastri in the off-season at McLaren.
“I really feel like just that half year break, even if it wasn’t the full year I was expecting, brought me up to speed and felt energized again,” said Ricciardo.
“Of course there’s nervousness, excitement and a lot of those things, but sometimes we probably forget to remind ourselves to accept it and just smile in the moment.”
“I was just trying to enjoy it and of course you make sure you stay focused but just enjoy it.”
Next, Ricciardo returns to the grid on July 30 at the Belgian Grand Prix.