Ricciardo’s motivating mindset unseen side of his brilliance – Fry

Ricciardo’s motivating mindset unseen side of his brilliance – Fry

01/18/2021

Daniel Ricciardo’s hidden benefit in motivating a Formula 1 team is one of his most striking qualities, says Alpine technical chief Pat Fry.

Having seen close up last season how Ricciardo works with his engineers and crew when out of the car, Fry says that it is the Australian’s attitude to work that really stands out – and is of huge benefit.

“I think Daniel’s outstanding,” explained Fry, who is Alpine’s chassis technical director.

“He’s clearly very quick and very sensible. But I think also, when you actually look at the way he motivates a team and that side of it, which often gets forgotten, he is great.

“Even when you’ve had a session that’s not as good as you would have hoped or whatever, he’s still big enough to see the benefits of what we’ve learned in that and that we will do ‘better tomorrow’ type of thing.

“That is actually a good way of pulling the crew and the team together really. So I think [he’s] pretty outstanding and pretty exceptional really.”

Fry will not get to continue working with Ricciardo this year, with the Australian having elected to switch to McLaren for 2021.

His place at Alpine, formerly Renault, is being taken by Fernando Alonso, who is making a comeback to F1 after two seasons away.

And having embedded himself as much as possible inside Renault last year, Fry says that the double world champion is pretty prepared for what lies ahead.

“He’s been obviously in the simulator, and a lot of these things are about trying to get familiar with some even simple things,” said Fry.

“It sounds simple, but you need to learn how to drive the power unit these days. Even the same powerunit, in a different car, it’s completely different in how we set things up.

“So there’s a lot of learning that he needs to get on and do there. He’s certainly been listening in on the debriefs and stuff like that through the various race weekends, so it has all been a case of him getting embedded in the team really.

“When you look to the start of the year, with only three days of testing and then straight off to [the first race] you’ve got to do everything you can to try and embed the drivers in the team, not just in terms of how to drive the car, but also to understand the people and get used to how we work.”

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