Daniel Ricciardo’s dreams of making a triumphant comeback to Red Bull and achieving his desired outcome in 2024 have been dashed due to a string of unfortunate incidents. In Free Practice 2, Ricciardo collided with the barriers, resulting in a fractured bone in his left hand, forcing him to be out of action for a minimum of three weeks. This injury has greatly diminished his opportunity to demonstrate his worth to Red Bull. Moreover, Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, has explicitly stated that Ricciardo does not pose a challenge to Sergio Perez’s position within the team for 2024.
Ricciardo had desired to take over Perez’s spot, particularly due to Perez’s difficulties in the current season. However, Marko’s recent interview with Kleine Zeitung dismisses this likelihood, as he affirmed that Perez’s position for 2024 is guaranteed. Additionally, Ricciardo’s present circumstances have been further complicated by remarks from Christian Horner and Franz Tost, who have cast uncertainty on his future with AlphaTauri.
Ricciardo is now confronted with a lengthy journey towards recuperation, typically taking up to six weeks. Consequently, he might possibly be absent from the upcoming three races, leaving him with just nine races to demonstrate his capabilities. Horner has proposed that Ricciardo might target a comeback at the Singapore Grand Prix, but participating without being completely recovered could endanger his entire season.
It remains to be seen how Red Bull views Ricciardo’s injury and whether they will second-guess his abilities. However, with Marko’s verdict against him and the uncertainty surrounding his recovery, Ricciardo’s fairytale dream seems to have been shattered.