- Daniel Ricciardo convinced Christian Horner to give him a second chance
- Impressive laps at Silverstone confirmed Horner’s view that he still has what it takes
- Ricciardo joined AlphaTauri midway through the 2023 Formula One season
The new Drive to Survive series has pinpointed the exact moment that convinced Christian Horner to give Daniel Ricciardo a second chance in Formula One.
Ricciardo spent part of the 2023 season sidelined after being dropped by McLaren at the end of 2022. With no other team willing to offer him a seat, the Australian was forced to settle for the ‘third driver’ role at Red Bull.
As the season progressed, Nick de Vyries’ performances in Red Bull’s junior team, AlphaTauri, were causing concern among team bosses, including Horner.
So when Ricciardo was offered the chance to do some laps in Max Verstappen’s RB19 car at Silverstone, it was essentially a test to see if the veteran still had the pace to compete at the highest level.
Horner, speaking in episode 2 of the latest series, said as Ricciardo drove around the famous circuit: “Daniel knows that everyone will look at that data and think ‘where is Daniel Ricciardo?'”
Netflix has shared a peak at the moment Daniel Ricciardo convinced Christian Horner to give him a second chance in Formula One.
The Australian passed the Silverstone test with flying colors during the 2023 season
A spin almost seemed to burst the Australian’s bubble, but he recovered and set impressive lap times. When he returned to the pits, Horner asked Ricciardo’s management team for “a cup of tea” before giving a report.
‘That lap you just did would have put you next to Max [Verstappen] on the internet,” he said enthusiastically.
“He looks like the Daniel we know, not the one of recent years.
“I want to put it in the car for the next race.”
Horner broke the news to Ricciardo in the garage, before jokingly giving him a warning.
‘Is everyone aligned, as long as you’re up for it?’ -He asked Ricciardo.
“Okay,” the Australian said with a broad smile.
‘Welcome back to the team. Just don’t mess it up,” Horner responded.
Later in episode nine, Horner confirms that Ricciardo’s strong performances at AlphaTauri will put him in a good position to drive for Red Bull in 2025, when Sergio Perez’s contract expires.
“He was one of the most respected drivers in Formula One three or four years ago, and in 2023 no one wanted to give him a seat in the race,” he said.
Ricciardo spun early but matched Max Verstappen’s pace as his time on track progressed.
Ricciardo performed well for AlphaTauri in 2023 (pictured) after Horner said good drives for the team would give him the chance to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull.
“There are still doubts about what happened at McLaren in recent years, so it is inevitable that there will be pressure on him.”
‘We follow Daniel very closely. It is a prospect for us in 2025 if he delivers, he knows it.”
As it was, Ricciardo broke his wrist in Zandvoort and was forced to watch as rookie Liam Lawson put in impressive performances.
But the New Zealander was denied a seat for 2024 and AlphaTauri, now known as RB Visa Cash App, kept faith in Ricciardo.