Verstappen clarifies Ricciardo sim remarks

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo at the Red Bull livery launch in New York

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo at the Red Bull livery launch in New York

Two-time F1 champion Max Verstappen has clarified comments in which he appeared to ward off Daniel Ricciardo from undertaking sim work on his behalf.

Following back-to-back two-year stints with Renault and then McLaren, Ricciardo has returned to Red Bull as the team’s third driver.

Part of the 33-year-old’s brief is to conduct extensive work on the simulator to feedback to race drivers Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Explaining his role with the team at the recent Red Bull launch in New York, Ricciardo said: “I’ll attend some races, and it’s really to also help develop the car, use my experience, a lot of simulator work, and to help the team as much as possible.”

Towards the end of January, however, Verstappen stated: “I don’t want a test driver to take care of the simulation as other racing teams do. I want to do it myself because everyone has their own driving style.”

Red Bull sim work needs to go in the right direction – Verstappen

Asked by during an invited media session whether he was willing to accept Ricciardo’s help or maintain his stance he would be doing all the simulator work himself, Verstappen replied: “I think maybe the way it was said was misquoted.

“What I meant was that I prefer to do the days because if I’m not going to do them, people don’t know my feedback when I drive on the simulator, and I think it’s very important to have a lot of different drivers on the simulator.

“Of course, Daniel is not the only one driving the simulator. We also have Rudy van Buren, for example, and Sebastien Buemi coming in, and they also have to understand the way we drive the car.

“From our feedback, they can understand their role better in terms of when new parts come onto the car in the simulator first to understand that it’s actually going in the right direction.

“So that’s why I think it’s always very important that the actual driver in the car is also doing the simulator work.”

Van Buren, a sim racing professional and a former winner of the World’s Fastest Gamer competition, was appointed by Red Bull as a simulator and development driver at the end of last year.

Buemi, meanwhile, is a reserve driver who previously competed in F1 with Toro Rosso from 2009-2011. He has since become a four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, a three-time WEC champion, and a Formula E title winner.

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