Daniel Ricciardo has commented on Fernando Alonso’s F1 return, as the Spanish F1 champion will be replacing him at Renault next 2021 season.
Daniel Ricciardo welcomes former champion Alonso
Daniel Ricciardo has welcomed Fernando Alonso’s Formula 1 return as his Renault replacement next year. Although, he ruled out sacrificing any time in the car to help the Spaniard get up to speed.
The Australian on the other hand is moving to McLaren at the end of the season. Ricciardo said that he was excited about the two-time world champion’s comeback, speaking during the video news conference at Styrian Grand Prix in Austria on Thursday.
“It’s going to be great obviously for the sport. He’s such a name in the sport and has been for so many years,” said the 31-year-old of a rival who will be 39 this month.
Daniel Ricciardo is asked if he would be happy to give up his car in FP1 at certain races to help Fernando Alonso?
Ricciardo’s response: “He doesn’t need any help.”
— Race Notes (@Race_Notes) July 9, 2020
“To return with the team and the brand that got him his titles I think is a good fit. And I’m excited to race against him again.”
“It’s cool. The young guys are good but they make me feel old, so having another older driver on the grid now it’s better for me.” he added.
Alonso last raced for McLaren in 2018 and Ricciardo was asked whether he would be happy to hand over his car for any Friday practice sessions this year. The answer was no.
“I heard the words ‘help Fernando Alonso’. He doesn’t need any help. It didn’t look like he’s slowed down at all with age. His last season in F1 was a pretty strong one from everything I heard and saw.”
Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso for Renault next F1 season
Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul said on Wednesday there were no plans to give Alonso track time at race weekends but they might run him elsewhere in a 2018 car.
Ricciardo’s French team mate Esteban Ocon, for whom Alonso was a boyhood hero, said the Spaniard would help build something new at Renault. Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, Ocon was asked how he felt now that the Alonso move had been confirmed.
— F1.co.uk (@f1couk) July 9, 2020
“It’s great,” said Ocon.
“Of course Fernando is very linked to the brand and if you look at the success he had with the team, it’s for sure fantastic, but we need to build something new with him coming now.
“He has great experience and I’m pretty sure he can bring that to the team and make the car evolve, and he’s very, very motivated. I’ve had him on text yesterday, or before yesterday and he’s very keen to come back. We just chatted about the opportunity that there is in these next years and how the field is close at this moment, so I think there is a good chance of doing well if we work well.” he concluded.