FORMULA 1

Why did Alpine F1 never consider Ricciardo for 2023?

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Alpine F1 recently signed Pierre Gasly to complete the all-French lineup for 2023 replacing Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso left Alpine to explore prospects with Aston Martin in 2023. This left Alpine searching for a replacement for the Spaniard.

Alpine then lost Oscar Piastri – the most suited replacement in the Alpine-Piastri-McLaren saga.

In the end, the Enstone-based squad signed AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly for 2023.

But the question remains – Why didn’t Alpine F1 try to go for Daniel Ricciardo? In all the mess of the 2023 silly season, Ricciardo also lost his seat after McLaren axed him to make way for Piastri.

Ever since Piastri got ruled out, Alpine hasn’t been looking at Ricciardo with much seriousness or commitment. Rather after a few talks with the Aussie, they quickly shifted the attention only toward Gasly.

Now, Ricciardo has openly accepted the fact that he might not be on the grid in 2023.

After the move of Gasly to Alpine, Nyck de Vries filled his seat at AlphaTauri leaving only two vacant seats for the F1 2023 market.

These are Haas and Williams – both teams most probably don’t have Ricciardo on their radar.

Form and struggles are hindering Ricciardo

One of the biggest reasons why Alpine “avoided” Ricciardo can be his form.

The Aussie is hugely underperforming in his McLaren. The car is hugely capable of continuously scoring points in midfield – something his teammate Lando Norris has managed throughout the season.

Norris is on 101 points whereas Ricciardo currently stands on 29 points in the same car. He was outscored by his young teammate last season too.

Norris managed to score 160 points to Ricciardo’s 115 points in 2021. This year the situation has just worsened rather than improved.

These couple of seasons with McLaren are something to forget for Ricciardo.

Thus, Alpine avoided considering Ricciardo looking at his current form.

Age is a factor too

Yes, Ricciardo is struggling a lot with his race pace and form but there is always a chance for improvement. After all, he is an eight-time race winner in Formula 1. He has more wins than 14 drivers on the grid which in itself is very impressive.

However, Alpine might have overlooked the fact looking at his age now.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer said this when asked if Ricciardo was considered for the seat with Alpine F1 in 2023:

“Well, at the beginning we discussed with a few drivers, including Daniel.

“Pierre meets the criteria to a tee – he’s experienced, fast and young.

“So, when it became evident that Pierre was a possibility we made our shortlist even shorter.”

But can we look that way? Ricciardo is just 33, yes Gasly does have some years on him but are they relevant? He comes in with a lot of race experience.
Looking back at his years with Red Bull we know if provided with the right environment, he can deliver and deliver at the highest level.

But we think in the end it all comes down to his last couple of years in F1. Ricciardo has been on a decline ever since he left Red Bull and teams might not be looking at him as a race winner anymore.

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