Daniel Ricciardo admits he might have to work his way back up from AlphaTauri if he wants to finish his career with a “fairytale ending” at Red Bull.
The Australian originally graduated from Toro Rosso in 2013 when he took over compatriot Mark Webber’s seat at Red Bull, before leaving for Renault in 2019. That was followed by a two-year stint at McLaren that ended with Ricciardo’s contract being terminated a year early, and he has since returned to Red Bull as third driver. He has long insisted that he’d only consider a race seat at a front-running team, but suggested he would drive for AlphaTauri in future if it would allow him to earn a promotion to Red Bull once again.
“This, for me, would be like the fairytale,” Ricciardo told ESPN. “Honestly, the fairytale ending (would be) to finish my career here if I could have it all my own way. But we’ll see. I’ll probably have to work my way up a little bit, but it’s really nice to be back here.”
ESPN reports Ricciardo is not currently in the frame for an AlphaTauri seat this season, and there is not currently an opening at Red Bull next year anyway as Sergio Perez remains under contract until the end of 2024.
Ricciardo will get his first taste of the RB19 next month when he completes a Pirelli tire test for Red Bull at Silverstone – in the days after the British Grand Prix at the same venue – and he previously told Sky Sports he wants to use that opportunity to show the team he has the ability to get the most out of its cars.
“I feel like there is still some unfinished business,” he said last month. “I’m continuing to do simulator. I’m going to jump in the car in July to get back behind the wheel. I’m sure that will really stimulate me and give me all those feels back. Naturally I’m going to put a bit of pressure on myself for that and try to remind the team that I can still do it. We’ll see where it goes.”