Nico Rosberg: Daniel Ricciardo already put ‘unnecessary extra pressure’’ on himself

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo gesturing toward the Red Bull garage of Max Verstappen. Hungary July 2023

AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo gesturing toward the Red Bull garage of Max Verstappen. Hungary July 2023

Daniel Ricciardo has done himself a disservice by announcing he wants Sergio Perez’s Red Bull race seat, that’s according to Nico Rosberg who says he’s put “unnecessary” pressure on his own shoulders.

Parting ways with McLaren at the end of last season and instead taking a role as Red Bull’s reserve as he looked to regain his mojo, Ricciardo admitted last month he wanted to return to the grid and in an ideal world would do so with Red Bull.

“This for me would be like the fairytale. Honestly, the fairytale ending [would be] to finish my career here if I could have it all my own way.” Ricciardo told ESPN.

Daniel Ricciardo has given himself ‘unnecessary extra pressure and expectations’

A month later he did return to the F1 grid but with Red Bull’s junior team, AlphaTauri, Ricciardo replacing Nyck de Vries after the Dutchman failed to live up to expectations.

Ricciardo has made no secret about wanting to use the AlphaTauri seat as an audition for Perez’s Red Bull drive with the Honey Badger targeting a 2025 return to the senior team with whom he claimed seven of his eight grand prix victories.

But with Perez failing to impress of late, even his return to Q3 in Hungary ending with only a ninth place on the grid, it has been suggested Ricciardo could even replace the Mexican driver next season.

For now, Helmut Marko insists Red Bull’s “contract with Perez runs until 2024” and that if Ricciardo wants his seat, down the line that is, he “has to perform”.

Perform he did in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix where he was P13 to Yuki Tsunoda’s P17, the Aussie securing AlphaTauri’s first Q2 appearance since the Spanish Grand Prix.

However, preparing to line up for his first grand prix since November last season, former F1 driver Rosberg believes Ricciardo has made life more difficult for himself by stating he’s coming for Perez’s seat.

“The only thing one thing I would say it’s unnecessary that Daniel makes it so clear that he’s here to get back into the Red Bull Racing team,” the 2016 World Champion told Sky Sports.

“You know, it’s unnecessary extra pressure that he set himself and, expectations.

“I would have played that a bit differently.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

All the mid-season driver swaps Red Bull have made in their F1 history

Revealed: The shortest F1 careers this century in the brutal world of Formula 1

Ricciardo was happy with his first qualifying with AlphaTauri with the driver saying that “jumping in the car and qualifying, I felt actually really relaxed and just, not to take it lightly, but just happy to be back and happy to be able to push a car on the limit again.

“This is something that I obviously didn’t always have in the last year or two. That’s why I think the time off was needed for me.

“I thought I was going get 12 months. In the end, it was only about six or seven, whatever, but fortunately it was enough. You know, I felt like I had enough time to, let’s say, fall back in love.”

Read next: Ted Kravitz casts doubt on Lewis Hamilton’s Red Bull DRS advantage theory