MARCH 17, 2023
Alpha Tauri call-up unlikely for Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo is unlikely to be called up to race for Red Bull's second team Alpha Tauri in 2023.
Although the Australian is nominally an official reserve for both Red Bull Racing and its sister Faenza based team, Franz Tost played down the likelihood that he would turn to the axed McLaren driver if in need.
"Theoretically we could," the Alpha Tauri team boss is quoted by motorsoprt-total.com.
"But I would prefer not to see if happen. There are young drivers like (Liam) Lawson, like Dennis Hauger. I think we would focus mainly on young drivers.
"That is part of our philosophy," Tost added.
However, some have pointed out that Red Bull's pool of young rising drivers is considerably weaker than in the past.
For instance, when Alpha Tauri needed to replace Pierre Gasly for 2023, the team signed up non-Red Bull driver and 28-year-old Nyck de Vries.
But Tost says nothing has changed.
"We will always depend on Red Bull. Our philosophy has not changed," said the Austrian. "We will also continue to train young drivers in the future.
"It is Formula 1 in general that has changed," he argues. "The field is very, very competitive now.
"That means that if you bring in young drivers, you have to do a good program with them. You have to prepare them as well as possible."
And that, Tost explains, means that the old trend of occasionally debuting two young rookies at the same time is now firmly in the past.
"It's also because of the technical feedback," said the 67-year-old. "It would be difficult with two young drivers.
"But if Red Bull needs one of our drivers in the future, that's still one of the reasons why Red Bull has these two teams."
Ricciardo, 33, attended neither the Bahrain season opener or this weekend's Saudi Arabian GP, although he will be in Melbourne after that.