Christian Horner Proper That Alpine Ought to Signal Daniel Ricciardo

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A photo of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner in sunglasses.

Cease the press! Christian Horner mentioned one thing smart.
Photograph: Mark Thompson (Getty Photos)

There are some things on this world that I by no means thought would occur, I by no means thought I’d dwell in New York, I never thought the UK would do well at Eurovision, and I never thought I’d agree with something Christian Horner said. It could seem the occasions, they’re a-altering.

That’s as a result of whereas residing and dealing in New York, I in the present day discovered myself nodding together with something Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was saying in an interview. This is similar Christian Horner who got here out with such quips as:

“I don’t must go to dinner with Toto. I don’t must kiss his ass or something like that. There’s a couple of different crew rules that may.”

It’s additionally the identical man who loves speaking about his “plucky little vitality drink” maker when referencing a $15 billion company. Enjoyable reality, Crimson Bull is value greater than Williams, Aston Martin, Haas and Renault, which owns the Alpine F1 Crew, mixed.

A photo of Christian Horner and Daniel Ricciardo.

Simply a few finest buds.
Photograph: Mark Thompson (Getty Photos)

So what’s modified? Why is F1’s most vocal crew supervisor all of a sudden speaking sense? Properly, it’s all to do with the longer term prospects of certainly one of his team’s former drivers, Daniel Ricciardo.

In case you’ve been residing below a rock for the previous few weeks, Formulation 1’s annual recreation of musical chairs, which sees groups swap out their drivers for the following season, has been fairly hectic this 12 months.

Issues kicked off when four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced he was retiring from F1, which freed up a seat at Aston Martin. This was rapidly pounced on by Fernando Alonso, who announced he was leaving French team Alpine.

Then, issues went into overdrive when Alpine said it had signed F2 champion Oscar Piastra for 2023, just for the younger Australian to say that really, it hadn’t. Piastri was soon signed by McLaren, which kicked out his fellow Aussie, Ricciardo.

A photo of Daniel Ricciardo and the Red Bull team in a pool.

Daniel, time to field for inters.
Photograph: Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto (Getty Photos)

Now, the eight-time race winner is caught and not using a drive for subsequent 12 months and finds himself lurking across the likes of Haas, Williams and Alpine for the ultimate seat within the crew.

And that is the place Horner is available in.

Speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, Horner was requested about Ricciardo’s prospects now that he’s going through the actual chance of a 12 months on the sidelines. In the course of the present, host Tom Clarkson requested Horner if he was in cost at Alpine, would he signal Ricciardo to the crew? According to The Express, Horner replied:

“I believe I most likely would to be sincere with you. They clearly know him from a few seasons in the past and he was very collectively throughout his final season there, scoring podiums, and I believe he’s the kind of man that, I believe you might rebuild him.

“It’s clearly not been an important expertise for him [at McLaren] for no matter cause however you simply should suppose again to a number of the drives that he did for us, a number of the wins he had, the podiums, a number of the beautiful overtakes he was able to… that’s nonetheless in there I’m positive, he simply wants a little bit of a reset.”

And whereas listening to the Brit say this, I discovered myself nodding alongside. Not as a result of I’ve received a mushy spot for Ricciardo, however as a result of I genuinely suppose he can be a superb match for the crew.

Daniel Ricciardo on the podium in Italy for Renault.

Daniel Ricciardo has podiums with Crimson Bull, Renault and McLaren.
Photograph: Miguel Medina (Getty Photos)

Since his fortunes began to turn at McLaren, many within the media have handed off the final 4 years as a failure for the Australian as he walked away from his race-winning methods at Crimson Bull. However at Renault, which has since morphed into Alpine, Ricciardo had some spectacular weekends.

In his first 12 months at Renault, Ricciardo peaked with a fourth place end in a 12 months the place six different vehicles on the grid had been quicker than his. What’s extra, he outclassed teammate Nico Hülkenberg, who had been with Renault since 2017.

Then, as soon as Ricciardo received into his stride with the squad in 2020, he picked up two podiums and completed the season in fifth with nearly double the factors of his new partner, Esteban Ocon.

And positive, the following years with McLaren haven’t gone in addition to Ricciardo may need hoped, however he’s still the first McLaren driver to win a race since Lewis Hamilton again in 2012.

Daniel Ricciardo with his hands in the air in McLaren overalls.

Daniel Ricciardo was the primary McLaren race winner since Lewis Hamilton.
Photograph: Dan Istitene – Formulation 1/Formulation 1 (Getty Photos)

So sure, Horner is correct to say that Alpine ought to severely take into account re-signing the 33-year-old Australian. Particularly when the other options appear to be ex-Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi, Mercedes Formulation E racer Nyck de Vries and IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who doesn’t but have the tremendous license factors required to race In F1. However that’s a travesty for an entire different weblog.

However don’t fear: shortly after popping out in help of Ricciardo, Horner was again to his batshit Mercedes/Lewis Hamilton bashing methods afterward within the interview. I suppose concord within the universe has been restored.

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