The team issued a formal statement: “Scuderia AlphaTauri announces that Daniel Ricciardo will be joining the team on loan from Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the Formula 1 season, starting from the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.”
Team boss Franz Tost expressed great enthusiasm for the change: “I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team,” said Tost. “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.”
Tost also thanked De Vries and wished him well: “I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri and I wish him all the best for the future.”
Already 34, the Australian decided to press pause and recharge after a gruelling time with the Woking team but maintained his race fitness and completed his first test with the Red Bull RB19 on Tuesday.
Red Bull has given Ricciardo a 12-race slot at AlphaTauri, enabling him to demonstrate his reacquired skill post his 2022 departure, potentially setting him up to challenge Sergio Perez for the Red Bull seat alongside teammate Max Verstappen.
Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, stated: “It is great to see Daniel hasn’t lost any form while away from racing and that the strides he has been making in his sim sessions translate on track.”
He then added: “His times during the tyre test were extremely competitive. It was a very impressive drive and we are excited to see what the rest of the season brings for Daniel on loan at Scuderia AlphaTauri.”
Ricciardo drove for AlphaTauri, formerly Toro Rosso, back in 2012 and 2013 before moving up to Red Bull‘s main squad. With seven of his eight F1 wins under his belt for Red Bull, Ricciardo moved to Renault and then ended up at McLaren.
The team’s difficulties were compunded by the AT04 vehicle’s poor performance this season. AlphaTauri is, unfortunately, last on the constructors’ championship scoreboard, gathering just two points from ten races.