Red Bull initially blocked Ricciardo’s F1 return with AlphaTauri 

Red Bull were initially opposed to the idea of placing Daniel Ricciardo back into a full-time F1 seat with sister team AlphaTauri. 
(L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTau
(L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTau

That is the revelation of AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer, who claims Red Bull wanted to keep Ricciardo in his reserve role, before later having a change of heart. 

Ricciardo was parachuted in to replace the underperforming Nyck de Vries after just 10 races in 2023, completing a shock comeback to the F1 grid just months after losing his McLaren drive. 

“Originally it was said: “No, Daniel is a reserve driver at Red Bull and it stays that way’”, Bayer is quoted as telling German publication Motorsport Magazin.

“And then over the course of a month we actually kept asking how things were going.

“At some point Christian Horner [Red Bull team principal] came to us and said: ‘We’re doing the test at Silverstone, maybe we’ll take a look at it’.

“Then Helmut [Marko, head of Red Bull’s driver development programme] said: ‘Yes, why not?’” 

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri AT04. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Race
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) AlphaTauri AT04. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

The 34-year-old Australian scored AlphaTauri’s best result of the year in Mexico and helped the team secure eighth place in the constructors’ championship. 

“Daniel has experience, so he helps us with the setup on all the routes,” Bayer added. 

“Daniel is a real reference for Yuki [Tsunoda]. He brought an incredible amount of new energy into the team within a week.

“Our mechanics were happy: ‘Hey, wow, something is happening!’. The transition wasn’t easy, but at the end of the day it had such a positive impact."

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