AlphaTauri has been forced to delete a photo of Daniel Ricciardo days before the Australian returns to Formula 1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
The 34-year-old’s new team has been heavily criticized by fans after his move to the Red Bull junior team was celebrated with a photo of the former McLaren driver wearing his AlphaTauri race suit for the first time.
The problem is that the photo was of the sacked AlphaTauri driver, Nyck de Vries, with Ricciardo’s head retouched on the Dutch driver’s body.
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The embarrassing detail was easy for Ricciardo fans to spot and the struggling team was forced to remove the image after just a few hours.
The good news for AlphaTauri is that Ricciardo was looking great when they were finally able to post a photo of him in his royal suit.
The mess left Formula 1 fans on edge with gags flying at high speed through cyberspace.
Some fans have joked that Ricciardo could be cursed after taking control of de Vries’ body just days after he stole his seat.
others have joked They could clearly tell the photo wasn’t taken from 2023 because they could still see the sadness in his eyes that he carried during his miserable 2022 season with McLaren.
It looks like the livery being set up for its side of the AlphaTauri garage at the Hungarian Grand Prix may also get a touch up.
Not a good look for Red Bull’s little brother team with the team struggling on and off the track, raising widespread fears among Ricciardo fans that the AT04 could be the end of his career if he can’t unleash something. of speed of the car. .
The AT04 has been described as the slowest car on the grid and the team has just two championship points all season.
Ricciardo has moved to dampen expectations about what you will be able to achieve in the car.
Despite impressing while driving the RB19 around Silverstone, Ricciardo admits he has a tough job ahead of him.
“The car will be what it is,” he said.
“I’m going to drive it and work from there. I don’t want to get too into…preconceived ideas.
“I appreciate that the car has its limitations. I’m sure they’re probably missing some overall downforce and stuff like that, but I think if it’s a car that feels balanced it might not have as much grip as the Red Bull I drove a few days ago, that’s something I can work with.
“I’m really looking forward to developing it as well and using my experience and ultimately I think for Budapest, just go out and have fun, try to use your right foot more than your left and have fun.”
It is crucial that Ricciardo finds consistent success in his 12-race cameo with AlphaTauri with the ultimate goal of earning a seat in Red Bull’s senior team line-up alongside Max Verstappen in 2024 or 2025.
Sergio Pérez is under contract with Red Bull until the end of 2024, but Ricciardo has done little to hide his ambitions to take the Mexican driver’s seat.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner appeared in a revealing appearance on the F1 Nation podcast on Tuesday where he admitted that Ricciardo wants Red Bull’s second seat alongside Verstappen.
“Daniel firmly wants to launch for that Red Bull 2025 seat, that is his goal and objective. By going to AlphaTauri, he sees it as his best route to stabilize his case by 2025,” Horner said.