Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen spoke about the work Daniel Ricciardo is doing in the Red Bull simulator, since his return to the Milton Keynes team as a reserve driver.
After a poor stint at McLaren, despite a solitary win at Monza in 2021, lest we forget, Ricciardo ultimately lost his seat with the Woking side, and returned to the very team that brought him plenty of success in the first place: Red Bull, albeit this time as a reserve driver.
While not getting any time in the seat of the RB19 this year, this week in Silverstone Ricciardo will be on driving duty for Red Bull as part of a Pirelli tyre test following the 2023 British Grand Prix, to get a first taste of driving a real F1 car in quite a while.
The Australian, however, has very been busy in the simulator, hoping to revitalize his career and bring him a full time drive once again, and Verstappen has recently spoken about the work that Ricciardo has been doing so far with the team.
“He’s doing a good job in the simulator, but you know, that’s not something I’m amazed about,” he said, quoted by the Motorsport network. “Of course, he had difficult years at McLaren, but you don’t lose your talent. And, of course, he also has a lot of experience.
“I think he also just feels very comfortable with us at the moment,” the Dutchman continued, “he says so himself, and that he took a bit of a step back to reset himself. In the end, he just feels at home in our team.
Ricciardo listens well to the Red Bull drivers’ needs
“Of course, he has been with this team long enough. He is now in the simulator and listens very well to what we are saying. He also asks a lot. I know Daniel very well, so we can talk about a lot of things.
“I can ask him if he wants to test something for me on the simulator or what his opinion is on a particular thing, future parts, all that kind of stuff,” Verstappen concluded.
With Perez’s struggles still ongoing, his future up in the air at the moment, there has always been speculation about the Mexican being replaced by Ricciardo.
However Red Bull boss Christian Horner has shot down any chances of Ricciardo getting a full time F1 drive soon, and told the media in Silverstone: “It is not something that we are planning.
“It was right to give Daniel the opportunity this year to remain within the team and keep him around the sport. It would have been a pity to let him disappear. Would have been a loss for the sport . I have not recognised the Daniel from a couple of years ago. I am interested to see what kind of job on Tuesday [Pirelli Test],” he added.
As for the Pirelli test, Horner said: “It is an important test for Pirelli. It is nice to see him back in a red bull car and see where he is at.
“It is a good opportunity for him to get back behind the wheel of a car which has just won the British Grand Prix,” the Briton concluded.