Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes of driving for Red Bull in 2024 have been quashed by team principal Christian Horner.
Speculation had been building the Australian could return to Red Bull to replace the struggling Sergio Perez.
But it appears almost a certainty Ricciardo won’t be at Red Bull in 2024 and will continue on with AlphaTauri.
MORE: F1 news: Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda to race for AlphaTauri in 2024
In an interview with motorsport.com, Horner stated Perez would be at Red Bull in 2024 alongside Max Verstappen – if he is fit.
“I am absolutely confident and clear that Checo (Perez) will be our driver next year,” Horner said.
“Now, if he was injured or something like that, there are circumstances beyond our control.
“But the clear plan and therefore the clear intention is that he will continue. We’re planning to continue.
“We have announced the AlphaTauri drivers, we have our Red Bull Racing drivers. That is how we intend to go racing in 2024.”
Questions have been asked about the future of Perez at Red Bull with the Mexican missing the podium in his last six races.
With Ricciardo impressing in his return to the hot seat with Red Bull’s affiliate team AlphaTauri, rumours sprouted about the Aussie replacing Perez.
Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso, currently with Aston Martin, has also been linked with a position at Red Bull beside Verstappen.
It was confirmed in September that Ricciardo had signed a deal to race full-time for AlphaTauri in 2024 after being an injury replacement during the season.
AlphaTauri began the current campaign with Yuki Tsunoda and rookie Nyck de Vries behind the wheel but dropped the latter just 10 Grands Prix in after an underwhelming start.
An experienced Ricciardo was brought in to steady the ship before the Australian suffered a hand injury in the Netherlands, completing just two races for his new team.
Lawson has stepped in since, with the Red Bull reserve driver achieving his first-ever points finish in Singapore.
However, AlphaTauri have opted to continue with 34-year-old Ricciardo for the 2024 season.
Team principal Franz Tost explained that the team’s desire to achieve consistency influenced their driver selection.
“Next year, the technical regulations remain largely unchanged and it was therefore logical to go for continuity in our driver line-up too,” Tost said.
“I am very pleased with the development that Yuki has shown over the last two and a half years with our team and with Daniel’s great race-winning experience we will have one of the most competitive driver pairings on the grid in 2024.
“Peter [Bayer, AlphaTauri’s new CEO] and Laurent [Mekies, AlphaTauri’s incoming team principal] will have a great duo to start the new season in the right direction.
“As for Liam, who has impressed everyone in his races so far, he will definitely help the team in his development role as a third driver, and I’m sure he will have a future in Formula 1 soon.”