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Daniel Ricciardo

Horner assesses Ricciardo's chances of AlphaTauri seat

Amid recent speculation over the possibility of Daniel Ricciardo racing for AlphaTauri in 2024, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has given his take on the situation.

Ricciardo Miami
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner has given his take following speculation over the possibility of Daniel Ricciardo joining the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team in 2024.

Ricciardo – who is currently acting as a reserve driver for Red Bull – recently revealed that racing for the Milton Keynes-based squad again would be the "fairytale ending" to his F1 career.

However, reports have suggested that the Australian is open to the idea of driving for the sister squad in 2024, given that it may boost his chances of returning to the main outfit in the future.

When asked about the possibility of Ricciardo racing for AlphaTauri next season, Horner gave his assessment on what the 34-year-old would need to prove in order for this to happen.

Horner on Ricciardo/AlphaTauri speculation

"It's still very early days for next year," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.

"Daniel is under contract for the year. He's going to be driving our car for the first time after the British Grand Prix [at a Pirelli tyre test].

"He's obviously a world-class driver. He's won, what, seven Grands Prix in his career to date (sic, eight).

"So I think the first thing will be to see how he performs and where his motivation is, and then from there, it's a question for AlphaTauri as to their choices for the following season."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

'Shock' during Ricciardo's return

Ricciardo previously raced for Red Bull between 2014 and 2018. Following this, the eight-time race winner had a two-year spell at Renault before a challenging two seasons with McLaren.

Upon his return to the fold, Horner admits that Ricciardo seemed different to how they had remembered him, but the Briton believes that the driver has since started to return to his former self.

"When he first arrived after Abu Dhabi last year, it was a little bit of a shock because we didn't really recognise him from the driver that had left us a few years earlier," Horner explained.

"But he seems to have rediscovered his mojo, he's been working hard on the simulator, he's now extremely competitive in what he's doing in the virtual world.

"So whether that crosses over into the real world, we'll see, albeit at a tyre test. We'll get an impression as to the level that he's performing at.

"But certainly, you can see that there's a spring coming back in his step."

In regards to the amount of simulator work that Ricciardo has done, Horner added: "He's done a pretty decent amount of mileage.

"Most of the races that he's not been attending he’s been back in the factory supporting on the sim. He's thrown himself into that and has been giving very valuable feedback."

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