Norris ‘would love’ Ricciardo F1 return
By Mat Coch
Sunday 19th February, 2023 - 4:00am
Lando Norris would like to see former McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo return to the F1 grid in the future.
Ricciardo is taking a sabbatical this year after agreeing to the early termination of his McLaren contract at the end of last season.
The 33-year-old signed on as Red Bull’s Third Driver, which ensures he remains both involved and prominent within the sport, keeping the door open to a potential return.
Whilst his time alongside Norris did not yield the results anyone involved was hoping for, the Brit believes Ricciardo is still one of the best drivers in F1.
“What was very good about Daniel was his experience of being a driver who’s won races, who’s achieved a lot in his career or Formula 1 and everyone rates as extremely high, or rates as one of the highest drivers on the grid in previous years,” he said when asked by Speedcafe.com.
“I would love to see Daniel on the grid just because he’s a very talented driver. He’s a guy that everyone loves, for many reasons.
“He always makes races exciting, and especially when he was with Red Bull in the past when he had a car which was capable of putting on a good show, then he was able to expose it and make the most of it.”
Ricciardo contemplating F1 return
Ricciardo has admitted he needs time away from competition and is spending the coming year assessing his options and desire to return.
A key part of that process will be the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the first event the eight-time race winner will attend in his new role with Red Bull.
Should he decide to return, the options available to him are unclear.
Mercedes is expected to retain Lewis Hamilton beyond the end of his current contract while both Ferrari and Red Bull have settled pairings for at least the medium term.
Alpine and McLaren are unlikely options, leaving Alfa Romeo, as it builds toward Audi’s formal arrival into the sport, as arguably the most attractive option.
Valtteri Bottas signed a ‘multi-year’ deal for the start of 2022 while Zhou Guanyu is on a one-year contract renewed in September.
“It’s not my decision. It’s up to him to try and do it,” Norris said of Ricciardo’s potential F1 return.
“He’s obviously a lovely guy so from my point of view, of course, I would love to see him back on the grid and, yes, his smiling face around the paddock every now and then.
“But otherwise, I’ll see him this year and see what he can do.”
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