Ricciardo is understood to have visited AlphaTauri’s factory in Faenza to have the seat fitting, which has fuelled rumours the Australian could be about to replace Nyck de Vries.

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De Vries has endured a torrid start to his first full F1 campaign and has been unable to match AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda

The Dutchman is yet to score a point and questions are already being raised about his future at Red Bull’s sister team. 

Red Bull have a reputation for being ruthless when it comes to driver decisions, with the likes of Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Daniil Kvyat and Brendon Hartley all experiencing of some kind of demotion in recent years. 

It is worth noting that Ricciardo’s visit to AlphaTauri does not necessarily indicate that a driver change is about to take place, despite de Vries’ disappointing start to the season. 

Having returned to Red Bull over the winter as a third driver after having his contract terminated by McLaren a year early, Ricciardo is also available to carry out reserve driver duties for AlphaTauri. 

He would therefore need to complete a seat fit as standard procedure to ensure that he is ready to jump into the AT04 in the event that Tsunoda or de Vries were ruled out of a session. 

But the timing of the visit has certainly raised some eyebrows. 

33-year-old Ricciardo will drive this year’s dominant Red Bull during a Pirelli tyre test at Silverstone in July following the British Grand Prix. 

The eight-time grand prix winner said he feels he still has “unfinished business” in F1 and wants to remind Red Bull he can “still do it” when he samples the RB19 for the first time.