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Ricciardo back behind F1 wheel for test amid speculation on return

Daniel Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo - The Canadian Press

Daniel Ricciardo was back behind the wheel of a Formula One car Tuesday, driving for Red Bull in a tire test at Silverstone.

Ricciardo has spent this season as a reserve driver for Red Bull, though there has been recent speculation he could replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.

de Vries, a rookie on the F1 grid, has struggled this season, currently sitting last in the driver's standings with no points, along with Logan Sargeant of Williams. His teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, has picked up just two points this season, placing 19th in Austria and 16th in Great Britain the past two weekends.

The 28-year-old de Vries' best finish this season came at Monaco in May, when he finished 12th, and he's finished 17th or worse in each of the past three races. 

Red Bull's development driver programme leader Helmut Marko sounded off on de Vries' recent form after qualifying ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix. Marko was asked by Vladimir Sky Germany if Red Bull's Sergio Perez could be a candidate to be replaced and instead took aim at the Dutch driver.

“There’s no one available who could replace Perez," Marko said. "He performs well in the races, in contrast to Nyck de Vries.”

Ricciardo, meanwhile, played it coy when asked about the possibility of replacing de Vries.

"Never know, never know," Ricciardo told SpeedCity Broadcasting. "I'm staying ready. I sat on the couch for two months over Christmas, but since then I've been getting back into my training and enjoying it."