Red Bull’s decision to replace Nyck de Vries with Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri for the remainder of the 2023 season reflects thoughts previously discussed by the team’s new CEO Peter Bayer.

Ricciardo was axed by McLaren at the end of 2022 after two tumultuous seasons and returned to Red Bull at the start of this year to take up a role as a reserve driver.

However, following a successful test run in Red Bull’s RB19 car at Silverstone on Tuesday, Ricciardo was swiftly appointed as de Vries’ successor at AlphaTauri.

The decision to partner the experience of 34-year-old Ricciardo alongside the youth of Yuki Tsunoda, 23, is a move that Bayer hinted at before the change was made public.

“It makes perfect sense to have that younger brother within the family, who’s taking care of young driver development,” Bayer admitted in an interview with Autosport.

“That will stay, so the purpose will remain, for us to find young talent. We might extend that a bit, and go a bit more structured into these areas.

“It’s also currently being discussed whether that means that we have to run two young drivers, or that we will finally one day have a more experienced one with a younger one, which I find makes it very interesting, in terms of the global product.”

AlphaTauri currently languishes bottom in the Constructors’ Championship with only two points to its name across the opening 10 rounds of the campaign.

Bayer has acknowledged that the Faenza-based outfit must accumulate points more regularly in order to prop itself up the order and earn a higher share of the prize money available at the end of the year.

However, Bauer, who will be joined at AlphaTauri by Ferrari’s Laurent Mekies to replace outgoing team boss Franz Tost, also contended Ricciardo’s wealth of experience will also be vital for the whole side developing in the right direction.

“In all honesty, that’s exactly the discussion I had with the guys,” he explained. “I said it’s great to be training young drivers, but the gap between F2 and F1 simply is huge.

“And Franz is right, he always says three years. So if you think about two guys rolling three years, three years – there’s impatience and there is not a clear strategy, and that is something that we want to develop. We want to take the time, make sure we get that right.

“And also it’s not only about points. Look at Fernando [Alonso] and [Lance] Stroll. You have a top driver who helps you, says look for the set-up, think about this, think about that, push more here.

“It’s natural and it’s normal, I think that you learn. And so we need to we need to consider that, and see how that all plays out.”

(L to R): Franz Tost (AUT) AlphaTauri Team Principal with Peter Bayer, AlphaTauri Chief Executive Officer on the grid. 02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.

After Marko revealed earlier in the year that the AlphaTauri name will not be present on the 2023 entry list, Bauer has stated the preference remains to rebrand in a way that aligns with the Red Bull brand regardless of any potential incoming title sponsor.

“Today we are called Scuderia AlphaTauri,” he said. “So we are called after a sponsor, the name of the team and the name of the company is Scuderia AlphaTauri.

“So if AlphaTauri [the clothing company] decides to do something else, we have to change.

“When we were discussing the long-term future of the team with the shareholders, with [Red Bull boss] Oliver Mintzlaff, we said that we believe that we should come up with an identity that first of all, allows us to be a unique and but still independent business unit.

“I think we also want to move in terms of the naming closer to the family again, to somehow have an affiliation or association with Red Bull as a brand, which then will allow us to add a title sponsor to the ‘XXX’ F1 team.

“And if that title sponsor three years later decides to move on, well, we can replace them, and it’s not that we have to reinvent everything.”

Bayer also confirmed that the team’s previous Toro Rosso moniker won’t be considered as an option, citing the entire group’s wish to opt for a renewed identity.

“It’s got history, so yes, we could go back,” he conceded.

“But I think the truth is you have a lot of new people, the owners, the Red Bull management, Laurent, myself, I think we all want to move forward and come up with something new and fresh.”

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