Red Bull spark Daniel Ricciardo rumours with crafty social media post

Oliver Harden
Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo during a seat fit in the Red Bull garage at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull have sparked rumours that Daniel Ricciardo is set to return to the team in the near future by posting an old image of the Australian with Max Verstappen on social media.

Ricciardo excelled during a five-year stay at Red Bull between 2014 and 2018, taking all but one of his eight career victories with the team before signing a lucrative contract to join Renault at the start of 2019.

Having lost his place on the grid at the end of 2022 after two disappointing seasons at McLaren, Ricciardo returned to Red Bull as the team’s reserve driver this year before reclaiming a race seat with junior team AlphaTauri ahead of July’s Hungarian Grand Prix as Nyck de Vries’ replacement.

Red Bull tease Daniel Ricciardo return as pressure rises on Sergio Perez

Ricciardo has made no secret of his desire to retake his former Red Bull seat, with the struggles of Verstappen’s current team-mate Sergio Perez raising the possibility that the team may be minded to make a change.

Despite winning two of the opening four races of 2023 in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, Perez has struggled in recent months having failed to reach Q3 for five consecutive rounds between Monaco and Silverstone.

The Mexican has also scored just five points in the last three races in Singapore, Japan and Qatar with newly crowned three-time World Champion Verstappen claiming two victories in the same period.

Perez has a contract in place with Red Bull until the end of the 2024 season, but his poor form has sparked rumours that team and driver may part company before then.

Rumours emerged last week that Perez, 33, may even announce his retirement at his upcoming home race in Mexico, with a source close to the situation dismissing the claims as completely false and “absolutely not happening” when approached by

A report by German publication Auto Motor und Sport went on to claim that Red Bull have already decided that Ricciardo will be promoted as Verstappen’s team-mate for 2024 in the event of Perez’s departure.

Following the announcement last week that the Belgian Grand Prix will remain on the F1 calendar until at least the 2025, Red Bull posted an image from 2017 of Verstappen and Ricciardo sat together at the top of the famous Eau Rouge corner while filming a light-hearted feature for the team’s YouTube account.

That post sparked quite the reaction from fans, generating thousands of views and millions of page impressions as speculation continues over Perez’s future.

Verstappen and Ricciardo enjoyed a productive partnership during their previous spell together between 2016 and 2018, but their race-ending collision at the 2018 Azerbaijan GP proved a turning point in their relationship.

Although video footage appeared to indicate that Verstappen had moved under braking as his team-mate attempted a pass on the main straight, Ricciardo was frustrated by the team’s reluctance to pin the blame on the Dutchman and later cited Red Bull’s handling of the situation as a factor behind his switch to Renault at the end of the season. recommends

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Ricciardo has missed the last five races since breaking his hand in a practice crash at the Dutch GP in late August, with New Zealander Liam Lawson impressing in his place by claiming AlphaTauri’s best result of the season with ninth place in Singapore.

The 34-year-old is expected to return to the cockpit at this weekend’s United States GP at Austin and warmed up for his comeback on Saturday by taking part in a Red Bull demonstration run in front of a crowd of 30,000 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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