Max Verstappen reveals why he doesn’t want Daniel Ricciardo ‘in the simulator’

Daniel Ricciardo raced alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull from 2016-2018, with the duo having famously collided at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Double World Champion Max Verstappen seemingly doesn’t want Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo to be “working in the simulator” in 2023, with the Dutchman wanting to do it himself due to every driver having “their own driving style”.

Ricciardo was signed by the Austrians following the termination of his contract with McLaren, after the Aussie failed to deliver consistent results.

The fan favourite expressed his intent on taking a year-off, with a background role at Red Bull for 2023 giving him the opportunity to do just that.

As part of his development role at the Milton Keynes-based team, Ricciardo will be involved in testing programmes, marketing campaigns and simulator work, something Verstappen perhaps isn’t a fan of.

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“Sometimes the days in the sim are long but I am convinced that this kind of work is worth doing,” Verstappen told Speed Week.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t want there to be a test driver working in the simulator like other teams do.

“I want to work on it myself because everyone has their own driving style. It helps me keep my concentration. After all, there’s not much to do at home other than train on the simulator. Plus it’s something I enjoy.”

It has been questioned how Red Bull will evaluate Ricciardo’s 2023 performance given that he isn’t actually going to be racing, with some believing that he’s joined the Austrians to apply some pressure on Sergio Pérez.

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It appears that his work in the simulator, though, is an area that could be looked into this season, to see if the 33-year-old deserves a full-time seat with Red Bull once again.

Ricciardo has revealed himself that matching the team’s lap times in the simulator would give him the “confidence” that he’s been lacking, raising the question, what will Red Bull do if Ricciardo is faster than Verstappen and Pérez in the simulator?

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“Going back to Red Bull, I think there is, of course, an element of me which is curious in terms of just jumping on the sim and seeing how I do, even just for myself,” Ricciardo told Formula 1’s ‘Beyond the Grid’ podcast.

“[It is] a car that, of course, it’s changed in the last four years, but a car that obviously I knew well [and] had a lot of success with. I’ll be able to get an idea. I think I’ll know. Obviously, if I’m there on lap times on the sim, I think that would give me the confidence that then I could obviously replicate it on track.

“But if I’m half a second off on the sim, then maybe I’ve got old!”