Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ricciardo Only an Option for AlphaTauri Ride if No Red Bull Juniors Ready for F1 Jump – Tost

Franz Tost says Daniel Ricciardo will only be considered for a drive with Scuderia AlphaTauri if none of the young Red Bull Junior Team drivers are ready to make the jump into the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Ricciardo rejoined the Red Bull family as test and reserve in 2023 after the Australian lost his seat with the McLaren F1 Team, and he has been linked with replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri after the Dutchman’s difficult start to life in Formula 1.

However Tost, who will leave his role of Team Principal at AlphaTauri at the end of the current season, says a young driver, such as Ayuma Iwasa and Isack Hadjar would be considered for the seat first, and only if it was clear than none of the many Junior Team drivers are ready to step up would Ricciardo be an option.

“The philosophy is quite clear, the performance decides,” Tost is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “Of course, the team philosophy is to educate young drivers.

“But if young drivers are not currently there – there are coming some good young drivers, [Ayumu] Iwasa is doing a good job, [Isack] Hadjar is doing a good job – but it’s simply a little bit too early for them.

“I see them earlier or later in our team. But if the particular time is too early, then maybe we have to find another solution.

“But this has not been discussed so far. So far everything is like [as usual] with our team.”

One driver who could be in line to come in is Liam Lawson, who is backing up his strong FIA Formula 2 form from the past couple of years with a good start to life in the Japanese-based Super Formula championship.

And Tost says it will be up to the New Zealander to continue impressing and performing strongly if he is to make the jump into a Formula 1 seat with AlphaTauri.

“Liam has done a good job when he was driving for us last year in Abu Dhabi,” Tost added.  “And he is currently also doing a good job in Japan because it’s quite a tough championship over there.

“And as I said before, it’s a performance question.  We have to find out, we have to see which driver is first of all available and matured enough and educated enough and ready to go for an F1 car.

“This we will see. Currently nothing has been decided.”

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