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Formula 1

Time is Running Out for Daniel Ricciardo: Ex-McLaren Figure Sounds the Alarm

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ex-Formula 1 mechanic now television commentator Marc Priestley believes time is ticking away on Daniel Ricciardo’s career in F1.

Daniel Ricciardo’s comeback to Formula 1 with Red Bull in 2024, securing a position on the team, mirrors the performance issues that led to his release from McLaren in 2022.

After McLaren terminated his contract prematurely, Ricciardo spent much of 2023 away from the frontline, enjoying a respite from the demanding life of an F1 driver and serving as a reserve for Red Bull’s teams.

His performance during a Pirelli tyre test for Red Bull prompted the team to replace Nyck de Vries with Ricciardo at what was then AlphaTauri, despite Ricciardo’s later absence due to a hand injury from a crash, missing five races.

Now fully integrated into the team for 2024 and participating in all pre-season activities, Ricciardo’s early season races have yet to showcase a significant improvement, notably trailing behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

Strategy nuances brought him close to Tsunoda in Bahrain, but without strategic team orders, Ricciardo was expected to finish behind. In Saudi Arabia, his struggle was compounded by a slow pit stop and a solo spin, escalating the scrutiny on him as he approaches the Australian Grand Prix.

Marc Priestley, a former McLaren mechanic who has transitioned to a media role, suggests that Ricciardo’s window of opportunity is narrowing, indicating that 2024 might be his final shot to reclaim his esteemed position in the sport.

Marc Priestley highlighted on his YouTube channel, discussing the pressures faced by Daniel Ricciardo from Helmut Marko and growing skepticism around his performance as he approaches the latter part of his career.

The conversation in the racing world is now pivoting towards doubts about Ricciardo’s true caliber and whether his return to the sport has lived up to the initial excitement.

Priestley pointed out Ricciardo’s inconsistency in outperforming his teammate, a crucial benchmark for any driver aspiring to become a Formula 1 legend. With a wave of emerging talent ready to make their mark, Ricciardo’s time to prove his worth in F1 appears to be dwindling.

“It’s a shame because I think he’s a great guy, a great character in the sport and has been a great driver, but he seems to have made some poor decisions that have cost him dearly over the course of the last few years. And I wonder if we might be seeing the last of him in 2024,” he said.

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