Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko mentioned that Daniel Ricciardo was aware that if he performed well in the Pirelli tyre test after the British GP, he would seal his position in AlphaTauri in place of Nyck De Vries.
It was a bit surprising when Red Bull announced that they will be replacing the Dutch driver in their sister team with the eight-time Grand Prix winner. De Vries was already on thin ice with the Red Bull hierarchy given his performance since the start of the season in comparison to his teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
But Daniel Ricciardo's impressive performance run in the tire test turned out to be the final nail in the coffin. Speaking with F1 Insider, Marko said that the Aussie was aware of the stakes:
“Daniel will now also be the benchmark for our Junior Yuki Tsunoda. And one more thing: Daniel knew before the tests at Silverstone that he would have the cockpit at Alphja Tauri if he could perform. He more than survived the pressure situation.”
Red Bull team boss praises Daniel Ricciardo for landing the seat at AlphaTauri
Christian Horner was up in arms about Daniel Ricciardo getting a seat with the junior team after impressing him with his timings in the Pirelli tyre test.
Speaking with F1.com, Horner said:
“It was great to see Daniel hasn’t lost any form while away from racing and that the strides he has been making in his sim sessions translate on track. His times during the tyre test were extremely competitive. It was a very impressive drive and we are excited to see what the rest of the season brings for Daniel on loan at Scuderia AlphaTauri.”
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost also welcomed Daniel Ricciardo back in the fold and added:
“I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team. There’s no doubt about his driving skills, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straight forward. The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner. I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri and I wish him all the best for the future.”
It will be interesting to see if the Aussie is on par with his new teammate straight away or if he will take some time to blend in with the team.