It has been two years now since Australian F1 star Daniel Ricciardo drove for Red Bull, but his former team is still trying to find someone who can replicate the impact he had on the team.
Both Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon have been hired and fired by Red Bull since Ricciardo chose to join Renault for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
'ULTIMATE THIEF': Daniel Ricciardo's brutal act against ex-teammate
The team has been seeking a driver who can keep up with star teammate Max Verstappen, with former Racing Point wheelman Sergio Perez to join Red Bull’s quest to unseat the dominant Mercedes team in 2021.
Discussing the reasons behind Red Bull moving on from Albon, the head of the team’s young driver program, Dr Helmut Marko, said Ricciardo had been the last driver to match Verstappen - although the Austrian racing figure couldn’t help but take a slight shot at Ricciardo in doing so.
“(Albon’s) deficit on Verstappen widened over the course of the season, not decreased. Admittedly (it was) marginal, but it got bigger,” Marko told motorsport-total.com.
“But if you have a teammate who drives at the absolute top level, no matter what the car is, that plays a subordinate role.
“If you look at it that way, no one except Ricciardo has existed on the same level as Max.
“And the longer the combination Ricciardo and Max was, the clearer Max was able to set himself apart.”
Verstappen became Ricciardo’s teammate in 2016, winning the Spanish Grand Prix in his first race for the team.
Daniel Ricciardo has given his signed trainer to Lewis Hamilton 🤩🤩
"I signed the one he drank out of and gave it to him at the next race, so 𝐡𝐞’𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐠𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐬." pic.twitter.com/w5fYXyESGs
— VBET News (@VBETnews) December 24, 2020
The Australian would outperform the young Dutchman until the 2018 season, where Verstappen would seize the points advantage in a season plagued by reliability issues for Ricciardo.
After two seasons with Renault, Ricciardo will join McLaren for the 2021 season.
Aussie driver Alex Peroni making US Indy move
Young Australian driver Alex Peroni will quit Europe and head to the United States to race in the 2021 Indy Lights championship.
The 21-year-old, who made global headlines after a horrific crash at Monza in 2019, has spent the past two years competing in the Formula 3 championship.
Peroni was sidelined for three months after the Monza crash, where his car was launched into the air after hitting a kerb, having fractured a vertebra.
The Tasmanian returned to finish 10th in this year's F3, which was won by Melbourne rookie Oscar Piastri.
Peroni is now looking forward to the next step in his career in the IndyCar development series with Anglo-American team Carlin.
Indy Lights is the highest step on the Road to Indy, a program of racing series leading up to the showpiece IndyCar Series.
"No doubt there will be a lot to learn in terms of both the car and the different circuits, but I am absolutely ready for the challenge and know I will have a great team behind me to bring me up to speed," Peroni said.
The Indy Lights series starts in March after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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