Sky Sports F1 expert Karun Chandhok says it is unlikely Daniel Ricciardo would get another shot at Red Bull as a full-time driver.
The Aussie’s most successful period in the sport came at Red Bull during his first stint there, with him earning the majority of his Grand Prix wins with the Milton Keynes based team.
Indeed, since leaving them he has driven for both Renault and McLaren and, though the Renault spell was solid enough at least, he has not hit the heights of those first Red Bull days since his exit.
He’s back in the fold with the team now, though, having joined them after agreeing to leave McLaren a year early at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign, and that naturally got some thinking whether that move might eventually pave a way for him to return to a race seat with the team, potentially at the cost of Sergio Perez.
Team boss Christian Horner regularly played down such talk when it first began to gather pace, though, and Chandhok is also of the opinion that it is quite unlikely we’re going to see the Aussie driving for Red Bull in Grands Prix again in the future.
“If I’m being perfectly honest, and it’s probably not the most popular thing to say, I don’t see how Daniel is going to get back into that seat,” he told GIVEMESPORT exclusively, “mainly because I don’t see how they can judge him – how are they going to evaluate Daniel?”
“There’s no testing in season that he can do. He’s not a rookie so he can’t do the rookie tests and they’re not going to take one of their drivers out of FP1 [for him.] And even then you can’t judge Daniel on one FP1 session.
“Checo is doing a solid job really, all things considered. I just can’t see how Daniel is going to get back in. I think there’s a higher chance of Nyck de Vries getting in.”
Ricciardo might have to settle for a midfield team if he does return to F1, then, whilst the De Vries shout from Chandhok is an interesting one.
The Dutchman obviously has a good relationship with Max Verstappen already and is driving for sister team AlphaTauri at the moment, so that could well be one to keep an eye on.
Sergio Perez looks firmly safe in his seat with the team at the moment, though, and has a contract until the end of next season so there’s no prospect of change any time soon.
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