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Ricciardo admits F1 rival not up to scratch for seat

Ricciardo admits F1 rival not up to scratch for seat

Ricciardo admits F1 rival not up to scratch for seat

Ricciardo admits F1 rival not up to scratch for seat

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that Nyck de Vries fell short of the required standard for Formula 1 during the 2023 season, expressing sympathy despite stepping in to replace him.

The Australian driver stepped in to replace de Vries at AlphaTauri in July 2023, just four months into the season, following a series of unfortunate race results for the Dutch driver.

Ricciardo, who also faced time away from the car due to injury, discussed de Vries's removal, implying that he wasn't up to scratch for the seat.

“Yes, because I’d been through it less than a year earlier. I understood it, you know, but it’s all very subjective. Did he have enough time? Maybe not,” said Ricciardo on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“Were his results good enough? Maybe not. But maybe it’s just what I’ve been through, and I’m in my mid-thirties now, we’ve all put so much into this, and I know Nyck has put so much into his career.

“Obviously, he finally got a chance, and it didn’t work out. Six months earlier, he’s probably the most excited he’s ever been to start a race season.

“Six months later, he doesn’t have a race seat. So, I feel for him and anyone in that position, because your dream can start and ultimately kind of finish or be derailed in a short amount of time.”

READ MORE: F1 team complete €200m sale to US investor

Nyck de Vries was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo made a return to AlphaTauri

Ricciardo to Red Bull?

Despite only participating in seven races, Ricciardo managed to leave an impression on the paddock, securing six points in the drivers' championship.

Ricciardo's standout performances sparked speculation about a potential return to Red Bull, possibly replacing Sergio Perez, especially given his current position at sister team AlphaTauri.

Daniel Ricciardo has expressed his desire for a Red Bull return

However, Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle has raised doubts about Ricciardo's capability to make a return to Red Bull and compete alongside Max Verstappen.

“I think he’s got more work to do before he shows that he’s ready to go up against Max Verstappen again, Daniel Ricciardo," said Brundle to Sky Sports.

With both Ricciardo and Perez's contracts set to expire at the end of 2024, a return of the honey badger to Red Bull might be on the horizon.

READ MORE: Sky F1 pundit urges driver to keep 'options open' in hunt for championship

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