Dr Helmut Marko has dealt a major blow to Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes of returning to the very top of Formula 1.
dr Helmut Marko dealt a serious blow Daniel Ricciardohopes to return to the top in Formula 1.
Although 33-year-old Australian Ricciardo will run some tests Red Bullis the 2023 car this year, Marko says he is not a candidate to race.
“Where does Ricciardo compare to (Max) Verstappen and (Sergio) Perez in the simulator? Not at their level,” he told formel1.de.
A top Red Bull official, 80, declined to quantify the difference in lap time.
“Alpha Tauri is Alpha Tauri and Red Bull Racing is Red Bull Racing,” insisted Marko. “Whether you’re driving in midfield or up front, it’s a completely different pressure, a completely different atmosphere.
“We know Daniel’s characteristics. Then came the era of Renault. Then McLaren came along and there was a crisis. It wasn’t the Ricciardo we knew,” said the Austrian.
So he said that “for the reasons mentioned” and “also because of his statements”, Ricciardo is not currently in the squad for a return.
Marko admitted that Ricciardo said he was interested in returning next year with a top team.
“That was his statement,” he said. “And I think this break from active sport is good for him to find himself and know what he really wants to do.”
However, Marko seems happy with Ricciardo in his current role as reserve driver.
“He’s doing a very good job of doing a lot of marketing and PR,” he said.
“There are rides and show car performances, especially in America, and who better to fit than Ricciardo with his smile and boots,” added Marko.