CEO Explains Reason Behind AlphaTauri's Decision To Choose Ricciardo Over Other Options

F1
by Adam OndrikMonday, 22 January 2024 at 23:00
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AlphaTauri decided to change its approach in driver recruitment moving forward, and the CEO of the team, Peter Bayer, explained why in a recent interview.
AlphaTauri F1 team used to be known as Red Bull's junior team. Its purpose was to give opportunity and experience to young, talented drivers who could become World Champions one day.
However, the team is changing its approach starting from season 2024 as the goal is to become more competitive in the Championship. A big part of that is the driver lineup.
In 2024, there won't be a rookie driver in the AlphaTauri car. The CEO of the team, Peter Bayer, detailed one of the examples of why working with rookies is more challenging as he told motorsport.com:

"With all the complexity the sport is currently requiring and the amount of information they [rookies] have to digest and process and then feed back to us, so that we again understand as a team what to do, how to change the settings and so on, and to be competitive, simply they need a lot of time."

"With a young driver it's coming from the ops room to the engineers to the pitwall to the driver. 'Constantly watch out in that corner. Now make sure you get the toggles right', or 'brake later, brake earlier, watch the steering, watch your rear, watch engine braking. Oh, by the way, there's someone coming from behind.'"

Working with and experienced driver like Daniel Ricciardo ensures for the team not only better consistency in terms of result, but also a much smoother communication.

"While with Daniel, it's quiet. And once a lap, he will come back and say, ‘Guys, an issue with the rear. Can you have a look?’ ’Oh, yeah, we see actually overheating, we can do something on the differential.’ And it's fixed."

The Honey Badger has been in F1 for 13 seasons, during which he entered 240 races. Even though there are still drivers like Fernando Alonso with 20 seasons of experience, Ricciardo can arguably be considered one of the most experienced drivers on the grid.
The only thing a rookie can offer to the team is potential and speed. Ricciardo can offer the same, as well as years of experience, consistency, and knowledge of just about everything a driver would need to know. Bayer added:

"You feel the difference. And then obviously, the work we do with him in the simulator, vehicle performance, that whole area is a different ballgame."