F1: 5 possible replacements for Daniel Ricciardo
It has been a week since the news broke that Daniel Ricciardo would be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season and joining Renault next year. A surprising decision for some, with people in and around the paddock saying the Red Bull deal was all but confirmed.
So with the Australian set to join Renault next season alongside Nico Hulkenberg, who will be Max Verstappen’s teammate, come Melbourne in 2019?
In this article, we will be looking at the top five possible replacements for Ricciardo. With Red Bull normally choosing a driver through their junior program, could it be one of them to make the step up to the big team or could they switch it up and opt for experience, going into a season with a new engine partner in Honda?
#5 Fernando Alonso
This choice is a long shot, hence it is at number five on the list. Interestingly, in all driver rumours, Fernando Alonso’s name always seems to appear. The Spanish driver, who has been fighting at the wrong end of the grid for four years now, wants to have a winning car heading into 2019, but would Red Bull be the right option for him?
Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks Alonso joining Red Bull would not be the best fit. "I have huge respect for Fernando," he recently told F1's official podcast.
“He is a great driver, a fantastic driver, but it's very difficult...he's tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he's gone, I'm not sure it would be the healthiest thing for the team for Fernando to join. Our preference is to continue to invest in youth than take a driver who is obviously close to the end of his career."
Another stumbling block for Alonso would be the engine supplier. With McLaren just joining Renault this year, would Alonso want to join Red Bull, who has announced Honda as their engine supplier for 2019?