"Does this also spell the end for Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes?" - F1 pundit questions the Australian's future after recent driver market developments

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco
F1 Grand Prix of Monaco MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB looks on prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

F1 pundit Craig Slater recently opened up on the future of Daniel Ricciardo and going by the former's statements, Ricciardo's hope to drive at the very top seems to have vanished. The reason is Red Bull's decision to hold on to Sergio Perez for two more years.

Following Ricciardo's return to the Red Bull stable in 2023, hopes surrounding him were high. As his fans wanted to see the Honey Badger at the top again, the 34-year-old himself wanted to drive the best car in the grid alongside Max Verstappen as well.

However, all his hopes seemed to have diminished now as Christian Horner's team recently sealed Perez's deal to let him drive alongside Verstappen till the end of 2026. This decision by the Red Bull fraternity shocked many, including Slater, who then went on to question Ricciardo's future.

"Does this also spell the end for Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes of driving at the very top level again?" asked the Sky Sports pundit as per Sky Sports F1's YouTube channel. "He would have hoped that, if not next year, then maybe the year after to try and get back in that Red Bull seat, and a two-year deal rather rules that out, he’s 34 years old."

Daniel Ricciardo is set to turn 35 in July this year, and by the end of the 2026 F1 season, Ricciardo will be 37 years old. This practically leaves less room for the eight-time GP winner to return to Milton-Keynes and drive for Red Bull.


Not just Daniel Ricciardo, Perez's extension ruined hopes of multiple drivers

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 19: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB and Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB pose for a photo with the Visa Cash App RB grandstand on the drivers parade prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 19, 2024 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 19: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB and Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB pose for a photo with the Visa Cash App RB grandstand on the drivers parade prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 19, 2024 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo can focus on his RB journey now as he is out of the race for the Red Bull berth next year. However, Red Bull's decision also ruined the hopes of multiple drivers.

Yuki Tsunoda, who has been in brilliant form this season, was one of the front-runners for the Red Bull seat next year. The young Japanese driver has claimed 19 points in nine races so far, driving an RB.

Apart from Tsunoda, Carlos Sainz's prospects to race alongside his former Toro Rosso teammate Verstappen, also faced a dead end. Sainz is set to make way for Lewis Hamilton as his contract with Ferrari expires at the end of this season.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now