Ricciardo won't give up any Fridays to Alonso: 'He doesn't need any help'

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Daniel Ricciardo has firmly stated he won't be handing his car to Fernando Alonso for any Friday practice sessions in 2020.

On Wednesday, the double world champion was officially confirmed as the Australian's replacement at Renault next season, returning to the team after two years away from Formula 1.

That lengthy break did lead to some questions over whether Alonso could be given some track time this season to get back in the groove...

“No, because I heard the words ‘help Fernando’, he doesn’t need any help," Ricciardo replied bluntly on Thursday in Austria.

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“It didn’t look like he slowed down at all with age. His last season in F1 was a pretty strong one from everything I heard and saw.

“Obviously the results weren’t always there but as far as getting the most out of the car, I think that was pretty evident that he was so I don’t think he needs help.”

The good news for Ricciardo is, commenting on what preparation Alonso will undertake prior to his comeback next year on Wednesday, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul had already ruled out any Friday runs.

“I don’t think he needs an FP1 to get familiar with the procedures in a racing car, or in a Formula 1 car,” he told Autosport. “I don’t think he needs that. That’s not the plan.

“We’ll see if there is an obvious opportunity. We have always the possibility of running him in a 2018 car.

“Again to be [clear], we don’t have any firm plan. But no, as far as FP1 is concerned, I don’t think it’s a necessary investment.”

Instead, only a factory visit at Enstone is expected for now, something the Renault boss says will be a motivational boost for staff at the French manufacturer.

But Ricciardo does admit he is happy to welcome any Alonso feedback that the Spaniard wishes to give.

“I don’t know if he’ll be trackside at a few races or what,” he said. “As far as him sitting in on meetings and giving feedback, absolutely no worries but I’ll do as much driving as I can.

“It’s going to be great for the sport, he’s such a name and has been for so many years," the Aussie added.

“So to return with the team that got him his titles, I think it’s a good fit, and I’m excited to race against him again.”