F1 News: Daniel Ricciardo reveals how Alonso inspired key career decision

Jaden Diaz
24 Jul, 2023

Daniel Ricciardo’s career has been highly unpredictable in the last eighteen months. His recent comeback with AlphaTauri is one of many surprises that has seen the Australian captivate F1 news outlets and fans alike.

At roughly this stage lst season, Ricciardo released a statement on social media to reaffirm his commitment to McLaren amidst persistent transfer rumours.

Only a few weeks later, it became clear that Oscar Piastri has been selected by the Woking squad as his replacement for 2023.

When combining this context with the 34-year-old’s difficult spell at McLaren, is is understandable that he decided against signing for a team over the winter break.

With highly limited options in the market, and an outspoken desire to race with a top team, Ricciardo made his conditions for an F1 return clear.

Few could have predicted the 8-time race winner would replace Nyck de Vries after round 10 of the season, but a re-energised Ricciardo quickly impressed Red Bull at a Silverstone test.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 05: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Oracle Red Bull Racing looks on from the pitwall during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 05, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202305050851 // Usage for editorial use only //

Speaking to Autosport, the Australian admitted the role Fernando Alonso played in his F1 break:

“Actually, I remember having a conversation with Fernando, maybe two years ago now. I wasn’t thinking of taking a break.

“But we were just having a chat, I think on a flight somewhere, and he said the break for him [2019-2021] was one of the best things he ever did.

“That kind of got me thinking, maybe if I ever feel I need it, not to be too scared of it. Then I think, seeing the year he’s had, that also filled me with some confidence.”

Although it would be premature to cast a final judgement on Ricciardo’s six-month break, the early signs are encouraging.

Ricciardo finds himself in a seat that, dependent on his performances, could earn him a Red Bull drive and return him to the front of Formula 1.

The first weekend of his comeback was an objective success, finishing ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda in both qualifying and the 70-lap race.

A difference in perspective is often helpful, both in and outside F1, so it remains to be seen how inspired this career advice from Fernando Alonso could be.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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