Marko rules out possibility of Ricciardo replacing Hamilton

Marko rules out possibility of Ricciardo replacing Hamilton

Marko rules out possibility of Ricciardo replacing Hamilton

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s consultant, insisted Daniel Ricciardo will not be in the running for the 2025 Mercedes seat vacated by Lewis Hamilton.

The news of Hamilton joining Ferrari in 2025 has taken the Formula 1 community by surprise despite the endless rumors previously linking the Briton with the Italian team.

But now with the switch confirmed, Mercedes will be on the look for a replacement for Hamilton, something team boss Toto Wolff saw as a chance to take bold decisions.

Many names have been mentioned as potential replacement for Hamilton, from Carlos Sainz to Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher and even Sebastian Vettel being lured out of retirement. There was also a mention of young Mercedes talent Andrea Kimi Antonelli being groomed for the Mercedes seat.

Another name that wasn’t mentioned much was Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian currently under contract by Red Bull who places him at their junior team, now called Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, VCARB, following a rebranding from AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo lucked into the seat at VCARB in 2023 having lost his seat at McLaren in 2022 following a disappointing stint that saw him beaten continuously by Lando Norris.

The Australian signed a contract to be Red Bull’s reserve driver in 2023, and when Nyck de Vries failed to deliver at the team then called AlphaTauri, Ricciardo was drafted to replace him alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

Ricciardo did not set the world alight upon his return not to mention being sidelined by broken hand following an amateurish crash in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix; he did not return until Austin.

However the Aussie was given another year at VCARB, and he has not hidden his ambitions to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull if or when the Mexican is sent packing.

Naturally, and as is the case with any driver in F1 today, Ricciardo would have probably contacted Mercedes and maybe test the waters regarding his chances of replacing Hamilton in 2025.

But Dr. Marko shutdown any speculation related to a potential move for Ricciardo insisting he is tied down with Red Bull.

Speaking to F1-Insider, Marko said: “Ricciardo still has a long-term contract and is not available.”

In all cases, the 2024 season shall be one of the longest silly seasons, unless Mercedes cut to the chase and confirm Hamilton’s replacement early on.

Big Question: Who do think Mercedes will hire as Hamilton’s replacement?