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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo's 'best days' in F1 behind him

Daniel Ricciardo has struggled to assert himself over teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the opening stages of the new season.

Ricciardo Saudi Arabia FP2
To news overview © XPBimages

1980 Formula 1 world champion Alan Jones believes compatriot Daniel Ricciardo is "treading water" in with his "best days" in the past.

The Australian was dropped by McLaren at the end of the 2022 season and, having rejoined Red Bull as third driver last term, Ricciardo was offered a chance to reassert himself on the F1 grid when called up to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri [now RB].

But the new campaign has had an underwhelming start, with Ricciardo outperformed by teammate Yuki Tsunoda and only finishing in front of the Japanese driver in Bahrain because of late team orders and an alternate strategy.

“Bad luck, or otherwise, I’m sure Daniel would like to have had better results than what he has had," Jones told the Herald Sun.

“At the end of the day, we can’t be blaming the car all the time, which has been a bit of a tendency in the past.

“I would love to see Daniel go extremely well in Melbourne, I would like to see Daniel go extremely well period.

“But I just think that his luck is going to have to change or he is going to have to lift his game if he has got any chance of getting back in that Red Bull team or getting back into a more competitive car."

'Things have got to change'

In Saudi Arabia, Ricciardo was well down in the field before a clumsy spin left him well back from Tsunoda.

“He is treading water," added Jones.

"He really needs to have some very good results and put up a good show, he can’t be dwelling down where he is.

“I hate to say it, but I think we have seen the best days [from Ricciardo]. He has had his bum in a few decent cars, irrespective of what people say.

“The Alpine or the McLaren, the car that he is in right now… at the end of the day he has got to start beating his team-mate for a start.

“I would love him to become super competitive and be up there challenging in the points, but I just think that maybe a couple of things have got to change before we see that.”

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