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Daniel Ricciardo has his sights set on Red Bull for 2025

Daniel Ricciardo is making his F1 return this weekend for AlphaTauri and has already set his sights on the second Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen for 2025.

Daniel Ricciardo at the Silverstone tyre test for Red Bull

As Daniel Ricciardo prepares to make his F1 return at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend it will be his first since leaving McLaren at the end of the 2022 season. The fan favourite Aussie has been brought in to replace the struggling Nyck De Vries at AlphaTauri as F1 reaches the midway point of the season. The sacking of De Vries has been talked about for months but just two hours in a tyre test at Silverstone, Red Bull made the decision to drop De Vries for Ricciardo after seeing the times he was setting in the RB19.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that Ricciardo has already set himself the goal of driving for the senior Red Bull team in 2025. Sergio Perez is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2024 but has not had the easiest of seasons in 2023 having not made a Q3 session in five consecutive races could be a sixth at Hungary if things do not go to plan. Perez has already shrugged off rumours that he may be replaced before his contract has even come to an end at Red Bull. After all the team is notorious for releasing drivers if they are not performing to the standard the team bosses expect from their drivers.

Daniel Ricciardo with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner at the Silverstone tyre test

Speaking to the F1 Nation Podcast, Christian Horner pushed aside rumours that Ricciardo is being evaluated for the second Red Bull seat for 2024. He went onto say that Ricciardo's focus is on the season after that.

"At the moment, there's only something in place until the end of the season, so there are no thoughts or expectations beyond that. We've loaned him to AlphaTauri until the end of the year. Obviously, our drivers are going to be Max [Verstappen] and Checo again next year, but it's always good to have talent in reserve. And I think Daniel is viewing AlphaTauri, he firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull seat."

According to Horner during the test Ricciardo was only on his third or fourth lap before getting within a second of what the two Red Bull drivers achieved at the British Grand Prix a just two days before the rest. This was one of the factors included in bringing back Ricciardo to the grid has he had not driven an F1 car in seven months and never drove the RB19 before the test.

Horner went on to say "What impressed me the most, and I went up to have a look at the test, was bearing in mind he hasn't driven this car and hadn't been in a car for seven months, within his third or fourth lap he was down to a time that was within a second of what our drivers were achieving."

"Then his first proper run, as it were, on tyres that were comparable, you could see his confidence was growing and growing. That first [flying] lap of probably what was his seventh lap of the day would have put him on the front of the grid. So it was hugely impressive."

Only time will tell if Daniel Ricciardo will be back in Red Bull and what will happen with Sergio Perez.

Quotes from F1 Nation Podcast and

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