Jones ‘just can’t see’ Ricciardo returning to the grid

Alan Jones, Australia’s most recent F1 world champion, says he “just can’t see” his countryman Daniel Ricciardo returning to the fray in F1 in the future.

Ricciardo was dropped by McLaren at the end of the 2022 season, a full year before the end of his contract with the Woking-based outfit, due to the Aussie’s disappointing results with the team.

Ricciardo was subsequently offered a third-driver role with Red Bull, his former team, but team boss Christian Horner has made clear that there are no plans entrust the eight-time Grand Prix winner with one of its cars this season.

Reflecting on Ricciardo’s plight in an interview with theahead of this week’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Jones believes Ricciardo only has himself to blame for dropping off the grid.

“I don’t think he even knows himself [why his form disappeared]. I just think he went off the boil,” Jones said.

“Really, in my own opinion, I think he concentrated and spent a bit too much time for his activities out of the cockpit rather than in it. That’s my opinion.”

    Read also: Ricciardo opens up on professional and personal goals for 2023

Jones believes that, barring an unforeseen event, Ricciardo won’t be racing in F1 in 2024.

“I don’t think he will get a drive at Red Bull unless something happens to the two current drivers,” said the former Williams charger.

“I can’t see him doing a Grand Prix. I doubt [he will be on the grid in 2024]. At the end of the day, there is probably no reason why Red Bull won’t re-sign Perez, and obviously, Verstappen.

“I can’t see anybody at Ferrari resigning or going away, so I just can’t see where he can go.

“Obviously, everybody likes to go out on a high note, and it’s just unfortunate that for whatever reason, and I don’t even think he knows himself, why his performance dropped off.

“As I said before, I just can’t see him getting back into Formula 1.”

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