That would open up the opportunity for someone to step in alongside three-time world champion Max Verstappen - and according to F1 journalist Lawrence Barretto, Ricciardo would be the absolute favourite to do so.
A 'good headache' for Red Bull
In a piece on the official Formula 1 website, Barretto insisted it will likely come down to whether the Australian, who spent five seasons with the team between 2014 and 2018, can recapture his very best form next season.
“As it stands, it is believed Ricciardo tops senior management’s list of suitable replacements," he wrote.
"The Australian will need to get back to his very best this year, and with many insiders feeling his AlphaTauri team will make a big step forward this year in terms of competitiveness, there’s a strong chance he’ll deliver.
“That’ll give Red Bull a good kind of headache, as a 2018-spec Ricciardo might be too strong an option to turn down.”
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