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F1 boss makes BOLD Ricciardo prediction ahead of new season

F1 boss makes BOLD Ricciardo prediction ahead of new season

F1 boss makes BOLD Ricciardo prediction ahead of new season

F1 boss makes BOLD Ricciardo prediction ahead of new season

Visa Cash App RB chief Laurent Mekies has backed Daniel Ricciardo to make it back to the pinnacle of the sport, after his return from a short sabbatical last season.

Mekies moved from Ferrari to the team formerly known as AlphaTauri earlier this year, as the team look to branch away from being just a Red Bull junior team without an identity of their own.

Ricciardo retuned to F1 with the team in place of Nyck de Vries halfway through last season and despite missing five races due to breaking his wrist in Zandvoort, the Aussie displayed some convincing performances.

The 34-year-old’s resurgence in form following a difficult spell at McLaren in 2022 was enough for Visa Cash App RB to retain him for 2024 alongside Yuki Tsunoda, and Mekies believes that Ricciardo still has what it takes to compete at the front.

READ MORE: Horner’s Red Bull hearing set over 'inappropriate behaviour’ allegations

Daniel Ricciardo returned to F1 with AlphaTauri in the second half of 2023
The Faenza team have rebranded to Visa Cash App RB for 2024
Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda were both retained by the team

Mekies backs Ricciardo for return to the top

Speaking with F1.com following the launch of their 2024 challenger – the VCARB-01 – the Frenchman had high praise for the Aussie and says that the experienced driver still has the ability to be one of the best talents on the grid.

“He’s an incredible asset for the team,” said Mekies. “There are not many drivers in the field with his sort of pedigree, that many race wins, with that sensibility for the car, with that spirit for our people.

“If you have a large group of people that is just motivated a bit more because of all the energy a driver can convey, it makes a difference. It’s hidden lap time, not one you can see on your tracker on the wall. It makes a difference.

“It’s great to have him on board in terms of speed, spirit and car development. He was on everyone’s top list until a couple of years ago. Then obviously he had a rough patch. We’re lucky to be the ones to rebuild with him from that.

“There is no reason why Daniel is not on the same trajectory as the one that was putting him on those top lists a few years ago. He has from that era gained experience and a lot of learning about how to manage his energy. I see him very hungry, extremely motivated, extremely focused.”

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