Daniel Ricciardo has retained his seat at Red Bull’s Alpha Tauri crew subsequent 12 months alongside Yuki Tsunoda following his return to Formula 1 this season.
The transfer comes regardless of spectacular performances from New Zealander Liam Lawson as a stand-in for Ricciardo after he broke his hand final month.
Lawson has already finished extra races for Alpha Tauri this 12 months than Ricciardo.
But Red Bull caught with the 34-year-old Australian’s expertise alongside Tsunoda and retain Lawson as reserve.
Alpha Tauri crew principal Franz Tost, who’s retiring on the finish of this season, mentioned it was “logical” to retain Ricciardo.
Tost mentioned: “I am very pleased with the development that Yuki has shown over the last two and a half years with our team and, with Daniel’s great race-winning experience, we will have one of the most competitive driver pairings on the grid in 2024.”
Ricciardo, who was dropped by McLaren a 12 months earlier than the top of his contract final season and began this 12 months as Red Bull reserve driver, returned to a race seat after Alpha Tauri misplaced religion in Dutch rookie Nyck de Vries earlier than the midway level of this season.
Ricciardo took over from De Vries on the Hungarian Grand Prix, however raced solely there and in Belgium, ending thirteenth and sixteenth, earlier than sustaining his damage in Friday observe for the Dutch Grand Prix on the finish of August.
Lawson stepped in for him for the rest of that that weekend and has additionally raced in Italy, Singapore and this weekend in Japan. He scored his first factors with ninth place at Marina Bay final weekend.
Tost mentioned: “Liam has impressed everyone in his races so far, he will definitely help the team in his development role as a third driver, and I’m sure he will have a future in Formula 1 soon.”
There continues to be no date for Ricciardo’s return. Alpha Tauri head of trackside engineering Jonathan Eddolls mentioned on the Japanese Grand Prix that Ricciardo would check out within the crew’s simulator earlier than a call was made.
“The recovery is going well,” Eddolls mentioned. “There’s no rush to get him back too early. The worst thing would be to come back before it’s properly healed and cause any issues.”
A brand new reserve for McLaren
Elsewhere on the grid, McLaren have signed Japanese Le Mans winner Rio Hirawaka as an F1 reserve driver and a part of their driver improvement programme.
The 29-year-old is signed by Toyota, for whom he received received the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2022.
McLaren, who have already got offers with Mercedes and Aston Martin to share reserve drivers within the case of a race driver being incapacitated, mentioned they wished to increase their reserve pool to supply further cowl.
The crew are anticipated so as to add their Indycar driver Pato O’Ward to their reserve group as soon as the Mexican secures his F1 licence.
Hirawaka’s appointment can also be linked to McLaren’s relationship with Toyota, whose wind tunnel in Cologne they’ve been utilizing for the final couple of a long time.
McLaren have lately accomplished a brand new simulator at their manufacturing facility within the UK and are phasing out their use of the Toyota facility.