Daniel Ricciardo returned to F1 action in a Red Bull showrun that took place in Nashville as they embark on the American journey.
Having been away due to injury sustained during Dutch GP, AlphaTauri’s Ricciardo made his F1 return in a Red Bull showrun in Nashville on Saturday evening. The Australian is gearing up for his competitive return in next weekend’s US GP at Circuit of the Americas.
He has missed five races including Zandvoort. He started his simulator training ahead of Qatar but still chose to not compete which was a right call as per Red Bull chief Christian Horner considering how the F1 drivers suffered in the heat.
“I think we want to see him in full fitness”, said Horner. “I think it was right to miss this race, particularly as it turned out with the conditions that we had. Austin, obviously it’s going to be difficult for him to jump straight back into a sprint race weekend but I’m sure he’ll be physically in good shape to take that on.
“Of course, he was wanting to come back but he has a contract secured for next year and in Liam, we’ve got such a great sub. It was also a good way of giving him another grand prix without actually putting unnecessary pressure and potential longer-term damage on Dan to say, ‘Look, don’t overstretch it’.
“As it turned out, the conditions that we have here could have been very testing for him. To have had that extra 12 days in the run-up to Austin is the best preparation,” summed up Horner. The injury also cost him a Nordschleife showrun alongside Sebastian Vettel, as well where he was replaced by David Coulthard.
The Nashville ended up being a good training exercise for Ricciardo, who drove the Red Bull RB7 in the Music City, supported by former F1 driver Scott Speed in the Rallycross car and street freestyle motorcyclist Aaron Colton.
“Driving here in Nashville on Broadway was pretty wild,” said Ricciardo. “Broadway is normally wild in itself but especially today! There was a lot of ya’ll out here and it was cool to put on a show for everyone. It’s pretty much everything I love – honky tonks and live music.
“We had our own little Honky Tonk last night and there’s an abundance of things to do here seven days a week – I like that you can always find some fun here,” summed up Ricciardo, who was also gifted a a custom hand-painted guitar and cowboy boots painted by Igor Customs. The Australian also performed a karaoke on the eve of the showrun.
Here’s Christian Horner on Sergio Perez’s situation
Here’s Sergio Perez, Christian Horner on how Qatar panned out
Here’s FIA and drivers on extreme heat in Qatar GP
Here’s Max Verstappen on wanting to re-watch Qatar GP
Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact