Daniel Ricciardo is significantly impacting AlphaTauri, both from a sporting perspective and commercially. The Faenza-based outfit is already enjoying the benefits of the Australian’s presence.
While Red Bull’s dominance has made the F1 World Championship a formality, they have provided plenty of headlines elsewhere. Their decision to bring back Ricciardo into the second team was a big part of this.
In their efforts to expand their potential options for 2024 and beyond, the 34-year-old was signed mid-season. For the reigning Champions, the objective has been to assess his level of performance.
After all, with Sergio Perez’s contract expiring at the end of 2024, Red Bull wants to have alternatives readily available. This doesn’t mean Perez cannot earn a new deal, but the Austrian team is known for being ruthless with its drivers.
However, there is another dimension to the Daniel Ricciardo saga. Plenty of attention has been on the main team, but the 8-time race winner is having a profound effect on AlphaTauri.
In terms of performance, the former Red Bull driver is achieving impressive results. Even in his first race at the Hungaroring, his pace relative to teammate Yuki Tsunoda was strong.
Regardless of how Ricciardo and Tsunoda’s performances in 2023 can be ranked, they are increasingly competitive relative to other teams. Thanks to a sequence of updates, the AT04 is more competitive.
Ricciardo’s arrival has given the Faenza-based team another driver capable of scoring points. Having spent much of this year last in the standings, the Italian outfit will be pleased to be climbing up the order.
Heading into Abu Dhabi, AlphaTauri is sitting in P8 overall. This is a reasonable recovery in the context of how they began this year’s campaign.
Looking ahead to 2024, there are more reasons to be optimistic. Aside from the team’s increased collaboration and new direction with Red Bull, they are receiving significantly more commercial interest.
Quoted by motorsport-total, AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer explained that Ricciardo is attracting more sponsors to the team. For an outfit trying to become self-sufficient, this is an important boost.
For all the controversy surrounding the Las Vegas GP, such events will likely attract more commercial players to Formula 1.
Focusing specifically on AlphaTauri, they are ending this season with far more boxes checked than when the lights went out in Bahrain.