Despite not finding a seat for the 2023 Formula 1 season, Daniel Ricciardo remains optimistic about a comeback in 2024.
With most seats filled for next year, fans are curious about the available options for Ricciardo.
Let’s take a closer look at the potential teams and scenarios where the Australian driver could land in 2024.
Top Teams: Unlikely Options
Considering the current lineups and contracts, it seems improbable that Ricciardo will join Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, or Aston Martin.
All these teams have their driver lineups set for the near future, and making a change to include Ricciardo would require a significant shift in their plans.
However, Red Bull might be a long shot, considering Ricciardo’s history with the team, and the respect Christian Horner has for his former driver.
But for this to happen, a serious downturn in form from Perez, or a major disagreement within the team, would be required (1% chance of happening).
Middle-of-the-Pack Teams: Possible Options
Teams such as Alpine, Haas, and Alfa Romeo could offer Ricciardo a chance to return to the grid. A return to Alpine seems unlikely, as both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly have contracts through the end of next year.
Haas might be a more viable option, as Guenther Steiner has not ruled out potential talks with Ricciardo. With Kevin Magnussen’s contract possibly ending after the upcoming season, and Nico Hulkenberg only confirmed for 2023, Haas could be in the market for a new driver, and Ricciardo’s experience could be valuable to the team.
Kevin Magnussen has been struggling for the fist 5 races of the 2023 season and beaten by Hulkenberg consistently. Ricciardo was in the running for the 2023 Haas seat but requested too much money per Guenther Steiner.
Another intriguing possibility is Alfa Romeo, which will become Sauber in 2026 due to Audi taking over the organization. With Zhou Guanyu’s contract ending this season, Ricciardo could be a realistic option for the team, especially with Audi’s future involvement and Andreas Seidl already there as a familiar face.
Back-of-the-Grid Teams: Potential Dark Horses
Though less likely, Williams and AlphaTauri could also offer Ricciardo a chance to return. At Williams, Alex Albon is the only driver with a secure contract, while rookie Logan Sargeant has much to prove. It’s hard to imagine Ricciardo joining Williams, given the team’s current struggles and long-term rebuilding project.
Logan Sargeant is for now performing correctly for a rookie against an experienced driver such as Albon. He is not at risk for the moment.
On the other hand, AlphaTauri might be a more appealing option for Ricciardo, as it would allow him to remain in the Red Bull family.
If Ricciardo were to join AlphaTauri, it could potentially pave the way for a return to the main Red Bull team in 2025, depending on the team’s plans with Sergio Perez.
With De Vries struggle and Ricciardo fitting a seat, it could prove to be the most viable destination for him to return to driving in 2024.
Haas, Sauber, and AlphaTauri Are the Frontrunners
Based on the current scenarios and available options, it seems that Haas, Sauber, and AlphaTauri are the most likely destinations for Ricciardo in 2024.
However, with the ever-changing dynamics of Formula 1, it’s impossible to make accurate predictions. Ricciardo’s talent, experience, and popularity could still make him an attractive option for many teams, and we’ll have to wait and see where he lands in 2024.