Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival at AlphaTauri has dramatically changed the the team’s outlook through a race weekend, according to its Head of Trackside Engineering Jonathan Eddolls.
Ricciardo was signed to the Faenza-based outfit earlier this season as an immediate replacement for Nyck de Vries.
However, his comeback lasted just a handful of weeks before he was sidelined again due to an injury he picked up during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.
Despite the setback, the Australian has been signed for next year’s campaign alongside Yuki Tsunoda, completing the full-time comeback he desired after his disappointing exit from McLaren at the end of last season.
'Ricciardo's experience makes a difference'
AlphaTauri has traditionally been a place for Red Bull to place their junior drivers with the view to promote into the senior squad in the future.
But with Ricciardo’s experience of over 200 Grand Prix starts in play, Eddolls says that the 34-year-old’s input has been hugely valuable.
“Pretty much straight away, you could feel the quality of the feedback, not only the feedback on the handling of the car,” Eddolls told media including RacingNews365.com.
“Obviously, he's got a wealth of experience and he’s driven many different cars and experienced many different ends of the performance spectrum.
“So having that feedback on our car was extremely valuable for us.
“But also, I think the other things that were impressive, and reminders of what experience can bring, were: how he could understand the race?
“The feedback that he could give live; how he thought the tyres were behaving – was it a one-stop or a two-stop; or if there was a Safety car, could he reheat these tyres? Or would we need to fit a fresh set?
“So a lot of the time, we're making those decisions from the pit wall based on data.
“When it's not clear cut, having someone with that experience can really, really make a difference.”