Daniel Ricciardo's shock return to F1 grid sends internet into meltdown

F1 fans have flooded social media in response to the exciting Daniel Ricciardo development.

Pictured here, Aussie F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo will make a shock return to the F1 grid with AlphaTauri for the rest of the season. Pic: Getty

Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed he will make a shock return to the Formula One grid this month with AlphaTauri in an announcement that has left fans in a frenzy. A reserve driver for Red Bull this season, Ricciardo's exile from F1 will officially end when he returns to the grid for the UK-based giant's sister team at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday week.

The eight-time grand prix winner replaces Nyck de Vries, with the Dutch driver punted after a poor run of form that sees him sit dead-last in the overall driver standings. Ricciardo would be be hoping the move could help him re-join the all-conquering Red Bull main team as world champion Max Verstappen's No.2 - an outcome he recently said would be a "fairytale ending" to his career.

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The 34-year-old Aussie was axed by McLaren at the end of last year - and replaced by compatriot Oscar Piastri - after two underwhelming seasons which included one shining moment, victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. Unable to find a drive this year, Ricciardo wound up as a reserve driver for Red Bull, for whom he had won seven grands prix.

Ricciardo has impressed team heavyweights in his support role so much this season that the organisation have opted for him to replace de Vries, who has been dropped after only 10 races. With Piastri in Ricciardo's old seat at McLaren there are now two Australian racers in Formula One for the first time since Ricciardo and Mark Webber were both on the grid a decade ago.

"I'm stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family," Ricciardo said on Tuesday. Confirmation of his return sent social media into overdrive as excited fans reacted to the bombshell news.

Ricciardo's appointment came the same day as he was back in the cockpit at Silverstone doing tyre testing, following work in the simulator. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel even made a surprise visit to AlphaTauri to seemingly offer Ricciardo his congratulations after the momentous news.

Daniel Ricciardo welcomed back to F1 grid

"It is great to see Daniel hasn't lost any form while away from racing," said Red Bull principal Christian Horner. "We are excited to see what the rest of the season brings for Daniel on loan at Scuderia AlphaTauri."

Alpha Tauri team principal Franz Tost added: "I'm very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team. There's no doubt about his driving skills, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straight forward. The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner."

Seen here, Daniel Ricciardo takes a selfie with an F1 fan.
Daniel Ricciardo's exciting news has left fans in a frenzy on social media. Pic: Getty

The reference to Ricciardo's easy integration into the team is especially relevant with Sergio Perez's poor form fuelling speculation that he may be replaced. The West Australian star is now in prime position to take advantage of that potential development if indeed it comes to pass.

It won't be hard to improve on de Vries who failed to score a single point with a best finish of 12th at the Monaco Grand Prix in May. AlphaTauri are last in the standings with just two points from 10 races.

Ricciardo began his F1 career with HRT Racing in 2011 before he joined AlphaTauri, then called Toro Rosso, in 2012. He made a surprise switch to Renault in 2019, but after two years - and two podium finishes - he moved to McLaren.

with agencies

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