There are some things on this world that I by no means thought would occur, I by no means thought I’d reside 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 instances, they’re a-altering.
That’s as a result of whereas dwelling and dealing in New York, I at the moment discovered myself nodding together with something Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was saying in an interview. This is identical 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 just a few different group ideas that may.”
It’s additionally the identical man who loves speaking about his “plucky little power drink” maker when referencing a $15 billion company. Enjoyable reality, Purple Bull is value greater than Williams, Aston Martin, Haas and Renault, which owns the Alpine F1 Crew, mixed.
So what’s modified? Why is F1’s most vocal group supervisor out of the blue speaking sense? Nicely, it’s all to do with the long run prospects of one among his team’s former drivers, Daniel Ricciardo.
In case you’ve been dwelling below a rock for the previous few weeks, Formulation 1’s annual recreation of musical chairs, which sees groups change out their drivers for the subsequent 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 shortly 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.
Now, the eight-time race winner is caught with out a drive for subsequent 12 months and finds himself lurking across the likes of Haas, Williams and Alpine for the ultimate seat within the group.
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 group? According to The Express, Horner replied:
“I believe I most likely would to be trustworthy 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 could possibly rebuild him.
“It’s clearly not been an important expertise for him [at McLaren] for no matter cause however you simply need to assume again to among the drives that he did for us, among the wins he had, the podiums, among the gorgeous overtakes he was able to… that’s nonetheless in there I’m certain, 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 obtained a tender spot for Ricciardo, however as a result of I genuinely assume he could be an excellent match for the group.
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 Purple 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 have been sooner than his. What’s extra, he outclassed teammate Nico Hülkenberg, who had been with Renault since 2017.
Then, as soon as Ricciardo obtained 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 certain, 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.
So sure, Horner is correct to say that Alpine ought to significantly contemplate 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 a complete different weblog.
However don’t fear: shortly after popping out in assist 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.