“I just want to see that smile on your face”: Daniel Ricciardo reveals Christian Horner's message to him during the Silverstone tire test
After failing to secure a seat for the 2023 season, Daniel Ricciardo replaced Nyck DeVries after setting impressive lap times during the Pirelli tyre test in Silverstone earlier this year.
Ricciardo's performance during the tyre test impressed the team so much that they decided to replace DeVries with the eight-time Grand Prix winner.
Daniel Ricciardo recently spoke about the RB19 tyre test on the recent Beyond The Grid podcast episode, reminiscing the day he was given another chance to continue his racing career. He stated that he had a feeling if he did a good job during the test, that could be a turning point in his career.
"Because I knew, if this test went well, things could change quickly. So then the test was… I was certainly a little bit nervous. But ultimately, I was excited. Some of the nerves were because, by July, I was at a point where I really had my confidence back. I really believed I could do a great test."
The AlphaTauri driver also revealed that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was constantly checking up on his progress with the team during the test. After putting in a good lap and almost matching Verstappen's pole time, Ricciardo said he had a smile on his face.
“[Horner] goes, ‘I really felt like you were missing that. Obviously, we all know what you can do when you’re enjoying it and at your best’. So he basically just said I just want to see that smile on your face. And he certainly saw that!”
Before wrapping up the 2023 season, AlphaTauri confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will be driving alongside Yuki Tsunoda for the 2024 season.
Daniel Ricciardo confirms he almost matched Verstappen's pole time during the tyre test in Silverstone
Daniel Ricciardo stated that when he tested for Red Bull back in July at Silverstone, he was almost as quick as Max Verstappen.
"We put FP2 fuel in the car. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. The first timed lap I did was on the money. It was a few hundredths off Max's pole time," he said (via Beyond the Grid).
Max Verstappen's pole lap time for the 2023 British Grand Prix was 1.26.720 that weekend and his teammate, Sergio Perez, failed to advance through Q2. It was one of the reasons Helmut Marko dropped DeVries for Ricciardo at AlphaTauri.