Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull Comeback: An Uphill Battle, Says Johnny Herbert

In a recent interview, former F1 driver Johnny Herbert expressed skepticism about Daniel Ricciardo’s chances of returning to a Red Bull seat. Herbert highlighted the immense challenge Ricciardo faces in improving his performance to secure a spot on the top team, a situation that has captured the attention of Formula 1 enthusiasts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Herbert’s Analysis: Johnny Herbert emphasizes that for Ricciardo to have a realistic shot at rejoining Red Bull, he needs to significantly outshine his teammate. He points out that Ricciardo must elevate his performance beyond his previous peak, particularly in comparison to his earlier races against a younger Max Verstappen.
  • Ricciardo’s Racing Style: Acknowledging Ricciardo’s past reputation as an exceptional racer and overtaker, Herbert questions whether the Australian’s recent form is sufficient for the leap he aims to make. The concern is whether Ricciardo’s planned changes are adequate to bridge the performance gap.
  • Uncertain Future: Herbert acknowledges Ricciardo’s potential for improvement but remains doubtful about his prospects of reclaiming a seat at Red Bull, given the team’s high standards and intense competition.

Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has experienced a notable career trajectory since his debut in 2011. His journey from HRT to Toro Rosso and eventually to Red Bull Racing in 2014 marked him as a strong contender in the sport. Known for his aggressive overtaking maneuvers and vibrant personality, Ricciardo secured multiple race victories, asserting himself as a leading driver.

However, Ricciardo’s transitions to Renault in 2019 and later to McLaren in 2021 indicated a turning point. His performances, though commendable, did not quite match the high bar he had set at Red Bull. This shift has led to ongoing speculation about his future in F1 and the possibility of returning to a leading team like Red Bull.

Johnny Herbert’s insights into Ricciardo’s current situation shed light on the challenges ahead. Herbert’s direct quote:

“Daniel [Ricciardo] had a certain way of racing when he came in and got his chance at Red Bull. Now he feels he needs to change things to make himself better. Well, it worked originally. But what is going to change to make him better than he was when he was up against Max, albeit when Max was in his early days?

“He had a great reputation, was a great racer, a great over-taker, but it hasn’t quite been there over the last couple of years. Can he turn it around? In my heart I think it will be tough.

“The only way he will earn the Red Bull seat next year is by blowing the doors off his teammate and he wasn’t able to do that last year. Will the changes make him better and stronger, leaner and faster? Possibly. But I am not sure.”

This candid assessment from Herbert not only highlights the steep climb Ricciardo faces but also underscores the dynamic and competitive nature of Formula 1 racing. As the season progresses, all eyes will be on Ricciardo to see if he can defy the odds and make a triumphant return to the top tier of the sport.

Special thanks to for arranging this insightful interview.

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