Ricciardo won’t ‘help’ Alonso with FP1 sessions

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo celebrating 10th F1 anniversary at Silverstone.

Daniel Ricciardo won’t give up his RS20 to help Fernando Alonso with FP1 runs ahead of his return, after all the Spaniard doesn’t “need any help”.

Two months ago Ricciardo shocked Renault when he announced that 2020 would be his second and final season with the Enstone team.

Instead the Aussie will be racing for McLaren in 2021 having signed a multi-year deal.

Left in the lurch, Renault began its search for a new driver before announcing earlier this week that it would in fact be a new old driver with Alonso returning to the team.

2021 will be the Spaniard’s third stint with Renault and his first year back in Formula 1 after walking away from the sport at the end of the 2018 season.

Ricciardo has made it clear that even if Renault wants to give Alonso a practice session or two to get him up to speed, it won’t be the Aussie who is handing over his car.

Asked if he would ‘help’ Alonso with a practice run, Ricciardo said in the FIA drivers’ press conference: “No, because I heard the words ‘help Fernando’.

“He doesn’t need any help.

“It didn’t look like he slowed down at all with age. His last season in F1 [with McLaren in 2018] was a pretty strong one from everything I heard and saw.

“Obviously the results weren’t always there but as far as getting the most out of the car, I think that was pretty evident that he was so I don’t think he needs help.”

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The six-time grand prix winner said he would be fine with Alonso joining the team at race weekends, just not in his car.

“I don’t know if he’ll be trackside at a few races or what,” he said.

“As far as him sitting in on meetings and giving feedback, absolutely no worries but I’ll do as much driving as I can.”

Alonso’s 2021 team-mate, Esteban Ocon, has already revealed that Alonso has been in touch to chat about Renault’s plans for the future.

He told the official F1 website: “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 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.”

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