Berger reassured RB over Ricciardo’s F1 recovery

"The new chassis may have made a bit of a difference"


5 May 2024 - 15:13
Berger reassured RB over Ricciardo'

F1 legend Gerhard Berger played a role in reassuring the Red Bull camp that Daniel Ricciardo is still a top-line Formula 1 driver.

Ricciardo, 34, is dating Berger’s daughter Heidi - and the former Ferrari and McLaren driver recently received a call from the CEO of the junior Red Bull outfit, RB.

"We knew he still had the speed," RB CEO Peter Bayer told Sky Deutschland in Miami, as the Australian driver continued to shine now that he’s at the wheel of a fresh monocoque that he had asked for prior to China.

"The new chassis may have made a bit of a difference mentally," said Bayer.

"I spoke to Gerhard Berger on the phone and he confirmed that he also had moments like that. By changing the chassis, we gave Daniel more comfort and safety, and it paid off."

Ricciardo had hoped to use the full-time RB seat this year to springboard back into the energy drink company’s premier and dominant F1 team, Red Bull Racing.

"I think the Daniel we knew from before is now coming back," former F1 driver Alex Wurz told ORF. "He seems to be clearer in his head again."

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s top Austrian F1 consultant, says the engineers have also worked hard behind the scenes to get Ricciardo up to speed.

"We worked intensively on the setup to tailor the car to his needs," he said. "Daniel has a special driving style, and now he can finally drive the way he needs and the way we were used to seeing from him."

By qualifying and finishing fourth in the ’sprint’ sessions in Miami, including fending off the on-form Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari, Ricciardo said: "It makes me happy to make Laurent (Mekies) happy.

"It’s also nice to keep a few people quiet."

Mekies is the team boss at RB.

"We have already made good progress, but more will come later in the season," the French official said. "I think we now have Daniel and Yuki (Tsunoda) at a very strong level where they will continue to push each other this year."

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