–by Mark Cipolloni–
Former F1 champion turned TV pundit, Damon Hill, has thrown cold water on the prospects of Daniel Ricciardo returning to the F1 grid this year or next.
Hill said on a recent Sky Sports F1 podcast that Ricciardo wouldn’t want to be a midfield runner on his return. “Well,” he said, “they had a seat fit at AlphaTauri and so that’s set chins wagging.”
“And realistically, what has Daniel Ricciardo got to gain by going up against either Nyck or Yuki Tsunoda in an AlphaTauri. “He’s been there, he’s done that, he’s not after that. There’s nothing more to this than if there is a need for a reserve driver situation then he might jump in.
“But I can’t see him [doing it]. He’s already said that he’s not interested in doing a middling team, he only wants to be in a car that can win.”
In his latest interview with ESPN, Ricciardo hinted that he could be eyeing a spot as the second driver at Red Bull. “I’ve been in the simulator, but I will drive the RB19 (for the first time) in July after the Silverstone race,” Ricciardo said.
“Then maybe I’ll get another one after Monza as well in September. I’m certainly excited to drive a fast car, but also a car that maybe still feels familiar to me – it does a little bit in the sim.
“But I’m just excited to drive again and to just try to remind a team obviously I once had a lot of success with that I can still turn a fast lap.”