Alonso input "helpful" ahead of Imola podium - Ricciardo
Departing Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that successor Fernando Alonso's input was helpful at Imola ahead of taking his second podium of the season.
Alonso was part of Renault's set-up across the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend as he continued to re-integrate himself into the team ahead of his return to Formula 1 next year.
Although the two drivers will be rivals next season when Ricciardo switches to McLaren, the Australian acknowledged the convenience of having Alonso sit in on team meetings prior to him securing third in the race.
"It’s been good, really," he said of the Spaniard's involvement. "Obviously, he’s going to be a competitor next year but I look forward to that.
"He’s going to be working with my team, my engineering crew so he’s been involved in our debriefs and pre-weekend meetings. And it was actually quite helpful to have him listening and hear what set-up we were thinking.
"Because he’s driven here before, even though it was a long time ago, he knew a little bit direction, what to do with downforce. Obviously, it’s unknown for us so having another opinion with him was quite good.
"It’s been nice to have him here and I’ll enjoy this before we become competitors next year."
Esteban Ocon, who will team up with Alonso next year, expanded on the progression the two-time champion was making as he aims to fully prepare for his comeback.
The Frenchman believes having an extra set of eyes overseeing developments for 2021 can only be of benefit for the whole team as it tries to bridge the gap to the frontrunners.
"We had the chance to speak," he said. "I told him I watched his series on Amazon, I told him about the champagne in the Dakar.
"All good fun obviously for now. When we are working, he’s very interested in how everything is going, he’s preparing himself ahead of next year.
"He’s starting to get to know everyone again. It’s normal that we’re going to see him more and more. He’s leaving us working but we’ve had some technical meetings and stuff going on.
"He tested the car, which was very good to have his feedback and to have his opinion on things. To have three opinions instead of two is always a good thing and a good confirmation for the engineers."
I don’t think he will retire anytime soon. There is so much to accomplish, he is not done yet. This is an extract of his posted message in FB, “ “The greatest honor an athlete gets is to stand and lift the flag of their nation. I will continue to do so for as long as I can.” Sorry but your wishes won’t come anytime soon. Certain kind of people may have to learn to like the GOAT...
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