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F1 team boss claims Red Bull tried to BLOCK Ricciardo return

F1 team boss claims Red Bull tried to BLOCK Ricciardo return

F1 News

F1 team boss claims Red Bull tried to BLOCK Ricciardo return

F1 team boss claims Red Bull tried to BLOCK Ricciardo return

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer has revealed how Red Bull originally wanted to keep Daniel Ricciardo as their reserve driver, rather than letting the Australian replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo returned to the Formula 1 fold back in July, when the underperforming De Vries was replaced just 10 races into his first full season in the sport.

However, Ricciardo himself injured his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix, leaving him out of the next five races.

While this allowed 21-year-old Liam Lawson to sparkle when deputising for the Australian, it meant that Ricciardo was only able to participate in seven races throughout 2023, having been dropped from the McLaren team at the end of 2022.

Despite this, AlphaTauri decided to stick with the experienced partnership of Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda for 2024, meaning we will be seeing plenty more of the so-called honey badger next season.

Daniel Ricciardo made his Formula 1 return with AlphaTauri in 2023
Liam Lawson sparkled when deputising for Ricciardo, leaving AlphaTauri a tough choice between three very talented drivers
AlphaTauri have decided to stick with both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda for 2024

Ricciardo's Red Bull permission

Now, Bayer has revealed that Ricciardo's return to F1 may not have even happened, after Red Bull initially wanted him to stay as their reserve driver.

“Daniel has experience, so he helps us with the setup on all the routes," Bayer told Motorsport Magazin.com.

"Daniel is a real reference for Yuki. 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.

“Originally it was said: ‘No, Daniel is a reserve driver at Red Bull and it stays that way.’ And then over the course of a month we actually kept asking how things were going.

"At some point Christian Horner came to us and said: 'We're doing the test at Silverstone, maybe we'll take a look at it.' Then Helmut said: 'Yes, why not?'”

READ MORE: Ricciardo snubbed as F1 rival given sympathy vote

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