Daniel Ricciardo has firmly rejected the idea of giving up his seat during practice sessions over the course of the 2020 Formula 1 season, after it was confirmed Fernando Alonso would return to replace the Australian in ’21.
Ricciardo has already agreed a deal to race for McLaren next year, which left Renault with a major void, but the French manufacturer has turned to the past to fill that gap, hiring its two-time World Champion, Alonso.
Alonso hasn’t raced in F1 since 2018 after he quit a poor performing McLaren, but has remained active in motorsports with forays into the World Endurance Championship, Dakar and the Indy 500.
Asked if he would be willing to help Alonso out by stepping aside to give the Spaniard some time behind the wheel, Ricciardo gave a firm answer.
“No, because I heard the words ‘help Fernando’. He doesn’t need any help.
“It didn’t look like he slowed down at all with age. His last season in F1 was a pretty strong one from everything I heard and saw.
“Obviously the results weren’t always there but as far as getting the most out of the car, I think that was pretty evident that he was so I don’t think he needs help.”
Ricciardo would though welcome Alonso’s input and says his return to Renault, where he enjoyed so much success, is a good thing for the sport.
“I don’t know if he’ll be trackside at a few races or what,” he added. “As far as him sitting in on meetings and giving feedback, absolutely no worries but I’ll do as much driving as I can.
“It’s going to be great for the sport, he’s such a name and has been for so many years.
“So to return with the team that got him his titles, I think it’s a good fit, and I’m excited to race against him again.”
This will be Alonso’s third stint with Renault, having previously raced for the team between 2002 to 2006 and 2008 to 2009.