The Daniel Ricciardo twist in the Lewis Hamilton bombshell that has fans daring to dream of the Aussie joining Mercedes
- Shock announcement provides opportunity
- F1 faces driver turnover
- Fresh speculation about where Ricciardo will finish
Speculation is already swirling as to who will take the coveted seat vacated by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, giving Daniel Ricciardo a surprising and meaningful opportunity to complete his Formula 1 career.
Following the shock revelation that Hamilton, a seven-time F1 world champion, will leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season, fans are suggesting the possibility of Ricciardo donning the Mercedes colours.
Hamilton said in a statement: ‘I’ve had an amazing 11 years with this team and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together. Mercedes has been part of my life since I was 13 years old.
‘It’s a place I grew up in, so the decision to leave was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. But the time is right for me to take this step and I’m excited to take on a new challenge.’
Hamilton’s move to Ferrari on a multi-year deal, aiming for an eighth title and extending his racing career into his forties, has caused a reshuffle of the drivers’ ranks.
The shock announcement by Lewis Hamilton has opened up a driver’s position at Mercedes
While Aussie Daniel Ricciardo has been linked with a Red Bull homecoming, he will be in the mix for a drive with Mercedes
The 39-year-old has expressed his commitment to end his tenure at Mercedes on a high note, vowing to deliver his best performance in 2024 alongside new team-mate Charles Leclerc, who replaces Carlos Sainz. Sainz, for his part, is now linked with the open seat at Mercedes.
Amid the speculation, Daniel Ricciardo is emerging as a strong contender.
The Australian driver, who started as a reserve for Red Bull last year but earned a full-time drive with their junior team AlphaTauri (now Visa Cash App RB) due to excellent performances, is being considered for a promotion to Mercedes.
Despite initial talks that he might become Max Verstappen’s No.2 driver in 2024, Red Bull’s Christian Horner has expressed unwavering support for Sergio Perez.
“I’m absolutely confident and clear that Checo (Perez) will be our driver next year,” Horner told motorsport.com in November.
‘Now, if he is injured or something like that, there are circumstances beyond our control. But the clear plan and therefore the clear intention is that he will continue. ‘
Hamilton’s announcement will trigger a host of driver announcements ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 series
“We plan to continue. We announced the AlphaTauri drivers, we have our Red Bull Racing drivers. This is how we intend to race in 2024,” continued Horner.
‘Checo (Perez) has an agreement with us for next year and it is our intention that he should be in the car in 2024.
“We’ll give him all the support we can to ensure he finishes second (in the drivers’ standings), but there’s no prerequisite that if he doesn’t finish second, you’re out.”
Ricciardo intends to drive for AlphaTauri, rebranded as Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, this season and has openly stated that returning to Red Bull would be a dream to end his career.
Other potential candidates for the Mercedes seat include former Red Bull driver Alex Albon, who has rebuilt his reputation at Williams, and young prodigy Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a 17-year-old making his Formula 2 debut this year, who a unique and unexpected offer. option.