Ricciardo opens door for Alpine: 'Wants to be competitive in F1'

F1 News

26 August 2022 at 06:42
Last update 26 August 2022 at 08:30
  • GPblog.com

Daniel Ricciardo is not ruling out a return to Alpine. The Australian saw his contract with McLaren end and now hopes to sit in the most competitive F1 seat possible in 2023. His old employer seems to be the best choice.

On Wednesday it was announced that McLaren will part company with Ricciardo at the end of 2022. The collaboration did not go as hoped and so the decision was made to buy out the contract, which ran until 2023. Ricciardo would like to stay in F1, but also states that he does not want to be just another driver on the grid. The eight-time race winner wants to win races again.

Return to Alpine

In that respect, Alpine seems the best place for Ricciardo. The French team is fourth in the constructors' standings and has seen Fernando Alonso leave. Alonso, however, was Ricciardo's successor. The Australian left the team for rival McLaren. Although the Australian scored two more podiums and was very competitive in 2020, Alpine will not have forgotten that he left without a fight.

''Of course it was tough because we made that announcement (that he would leave for McLaren the following year) before that year had started. Of course that was a bit awkward, but once we started racing everyone saw that I was doing everything I could to get everything out of that year,'' Ricciardo said in conversation with Sky Sports.

Ricciardo's future

The question will be whether Alpine is interested in Ricciardo's return, but the French team does not have much choice. Ricciardo is not one to shy away from attention himself. He says his phone has been ringing off the hook all summer, but the McLaren driver has yet to sign a contract.

Alfa Romeo, Haas, AlphaTauri and Williams still have a seat available for 2023 and especially Haas would have a concrete interest. However, a place with the American team would not meet the requirements that he does not just want to drive in F1, but wants to win races. The chances of that happening are slim. Ricciardo does say that he is also looking at the long term, but at 33 years of age he can no longer embark on a ten-year project.