Ex-Ricciardo engineer returning to circuit with Albon

Daniel Ricciardo and Simon Rennie at the 2015 Russian Grand Prix

One of Daniel Ricciardo’s former race engineers, Simon Rennie, will return to the race track this weekend to take up that role for Alexander Albon.

Rennie was Ricciardo’s race engineer for each of the West Australian’s five seasons at Red Bull Racing, from 2014 to 2018, and also for Mark Webber in the year prior.

He chose to move into a factory-based position last year, which Ricciardo cited as a factor in his decision to leave Red Bull for the Renault F1 Team.

Now, however, Rennie has been recalled to trackside duties with Albon, starting with this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

“Simon is a highly experienced F1 race engineer, having started his F1 career in 2004,” read a Red Bull statement.

“He joined Red Bull in 2013 as Mark Webber’s race engineer before working with Daniel Ricciardo from 2014 to 2018.

“He stepped back from a travelling role at the end of 2018 but returns trackside as Alex’s race engineer from this week’s Grand Prix onwards, while Mike Lugg – Albon’s former race engineer – remains under contract to the team, making the move to the factory.

“As a team we are committed to maximising the performance of the RB16 and our drivers as we continue our championship campaign in this shortened and condensed season.”

Albon was a threat even for what would have been a somewhat fortunate win in the season-opener at the Red Bull Ring until he was turned around by Lewis Hamilton.

The Thai driver finished fourth in the Styrian Grand Prix which followed and fifth in the Hungarian Grand Prix but missed Qualifying 3 at the former, while team-mate Max Verstappen was on the podium at both of those rounds.

Red Bull does occupy second in the constructors’ championship, with Verstappen third and Albon fifth in the drivers’ standings, but it has amassed less than half the points which Mercedes boasts so far.

“Obviously as a team it hasn’t been an ideal start to the season but aside from the DNF, we’ve been able to score some good points,” said Albon.

“I think with that being said, the car can only improve so I’m feeling positive. We know the areas we need to work on and with Silverstone being a home race close to the factory, that’s good news.

“I think we can hopefully get a good result there, historically it’s been a pretty good track for the team, and it’s one I really enjoy driving.”

Practice 1 at Silverstone commences on Friday at 20:00 AEST.

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