Opinion: Daniel Ricciardo Will End Up At Alpine And Here’s Why – WTF1
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Opinion: Daniel Ricciardo Will End Up At Alpine And Here’s Why

I love silly season. Especially when Daniel Ricciardo is involved! The Aussie hasn’t really settled since his move from Red Bull in 2018, but in my mind, a move back to Alpine makes perfect sense!

I say ‘back’ because it hasn’t actually been that long since Ricciardo left Renault (now Alpine) to join McLaren in 2021. However, even after two years of the infectious Aussie grin being present at Woking, Zak Brown and Ricciardo don’t appear to be really seeing eye-to-eye.

Brown is obviously very keen on making Lando Norris the centrepiece of his McLaren F1 empire, and I don’t blame him. Whilst Lando has been a top-class performer for the majority of his McLaren career, Ricciardo has been surprisingly underwhelming, scoring 134 points (so far) across two seasons compared to the 236 scored by his teammate.

However, if your boss was trying to replace you every five minutes, I don’t think you’d perform very well either.

Even though Ricciardo has made his McLaren future VERY clear, that hasn’t stopped Brown from shaking drivers’ hands elsewhere.

In the latest Piastri-Alpine shit storm, there are rumours in the Twittersphere that Piastri has already lined up a move to McLaren in 2023, despite apparently having a contract with Alpine at the same time.

This puts Ricciardo and McLaren in a bit of a pickle and is ultimately why Ricciardo will end up joining Alpine.

Firstly, a move to Alpine is a bit of an upgrade. McLaren has been on the back foot from the get-go in Bahrain, whilst the Alpine has consistently been the faster car (unless something breaks).

Then, as a former Renault driver, there would be a lot of familiar faces for Ricciardo to get along with, allowing him to perform in an environment where he’s under threat of not being replaced with a younger model every 30 seconds (especially given Alpine’s ‘next in line’ junior is trying to leave’).

Finally, with Ricciardo wanting to stay in F1 for a good while longer, a multi-year deal with Alpine could probably be negotiated, whereas at McLaren this seems very unlikely.

Plus, after this whole Piastri fiasco (or Piasco for short), I’m sure Alpine would like to count themselves out of silly season for the foreseeable future.

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has already cracked the door open to negotiations, saying that having Ricciardo back “would be no issue” as he just wants “the best driver” to sit alongside Ocon.

This was admittedly before Piastri broke the internet with his virtual middle finger to Alpine – and Szafnauer had also revealed that “a lot of drivers had called” about the then-open seat and it would make perfect sense if one of them was Danny Ricc.

Who do you think should get the potentially empty Alpine seat? 👀

15 thoughts on “Opinion: Daniel Ricciardo Will End Up At Alpine And Here’s Why

  • Sachidananda Naik says:

    This makes perfect sense. I have been saying this for months, Alpine looks great compare to McLaren. Also, ,let’s not forget Ricciardo had a great 2020 with them, he stood 5th the drivers standings, beating both McLaren drivers at that time. Switch back to Alpine is good for both parties!

  • Great move for Danny Ric. I think it will happen. Szafnauer speaking positively about him and Prost has said he rates him / doesn’t hold any grudges. It will also be a big payout for Ricciardo as I’m sure he’ll get the highest possible payout from McLaren whether this is done amicably or through legal avenues.

    McLaren aren’t exactly covering themselves in glory at the moment what with their “issues” with Indycar as well. They are portraying themselves to be a rather underhanded and untrustworthy outfit, and at the end of the day who wants to work for that type of organisation (apart from Piastri……erm). Ricciardo is best off out of it all as they look like a team going backwards on track in comparison to their rivals.

    I personally think he’s been set up to fail this season. McLaren have had a look at the options and Ricciardo’s wages and thought “Right…….lets make life uncomfortable enough for him to get him to exercise the break clause”. A kind of form of passive aggressive constructive dismissal – all very unsavoury.

    Alpine want one experienced driver and a younger driver to push their project forward so this has all kind of accidentally fallen into their laps.

  • I would try to get Bottas from Alfa Romeo. He proved he can be on level with HAM at some point. Or next supertalent Pourchaire (french). Instead of a driver how was to bad for other teams (RIC at MCL, GAS at RBR, ALB at RBR)

    • Kind of deserves one though? He is underperforming. What if he “can’t get along” with the 2023 Apline car?

      • I guess then we will know that it was Daniels driving style not working with the new cars. No harm in giving it a go though

    • He won’t get a pay cut. If McLaren kick him out they still have to pay him for 2023, which is 20 mil plus. If he breaks the contract himself, through his escape clause (Which only he has), I very much doubt he would take less money to go to Alpine. And given that Alpine had budgeted for Alonso, they will have the cash to pay him. He will beat McLaren in an Alpine, I have no doubt, so it’s a no brainer for me at least

  • Would love to see Danny Ric back at Alpine! He did great when he was there and it’s painful watching him struggle with the McLaren cars. I know he still has a lot of miles left in him! He’s only 33!!

  • Best for everyone. Shame it won’t be after the summer break. Would love to see him bury McLaren.

  • Doctor Funkopolis says:

    Going from the middling McLaren to a good, consistently midfield factory drive? Yeah that sounds alright to me.

  • I’m still not wholly convinced Piastri is McLaren bound.

    I can’t get past Mark Webber’s really strong ties to both Red Bull and Porsche – and his close relationship with Materschitz … Hot Take.. Piastri joins Alpha Tauri for 2023 (and maybe 2024) before replacing Checo at Red Bull ahead of Porsche’s return to the sport in 2026.

    Gasly to Alpine, Piastri to Alpha Tauri – Ricciardo sees out the final year of his career at McLaren.

    • I like it! I think Gasly would be great at Alpine, it’s car is a hell of a lot better than AT’s this year. I think his performance this year is down to him not being happy to be so far down the grid. Danny Ric hasn’t been shy in the past saying when he’s making a move, so unless Zak pays him off huge, he stays.

    • I think you need to look at what’s not being said. McLaren have been incredibly quiet in the social media space when all the other teams were having a good ol’ laugh.

  • Purple Dynasty says:

    With next year’s Las Vegas GP extravaganza racing on the strip during Thanksgiving week, F1 is getting it’s 3rd and most glorious and glamorous American event, and it better put on a show for Americans. Daniel Ricciardo is the driver that Americans most like, and Logan Sargeant is an F2 driver competing in the top 3 drivers in the series. Put Daniel and Logan Sargeant in Hass cars. Hass is an American team, and it’s getting competitive.

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