Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo returned to the cockpit of a Formula One car Tuesday at the Austrian circuit set to host the two opening races of the new season.
Ricciardo completed 115 laps of the Red Bull Ring, his first time on track since the end of preseason testing in late February. The circuit will host the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 and the Steiermark Grand Prix on July 12 to start a season which has been delayed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon will complete Renault’s private two-day test on Wednesday.
Renault posted a short video clip of Ricciardo driving away in an all-black 2018 car. The team will run a yellow and black livery for the 2020 season.
📍 Red Bull Ring
🦡 115 laps#RSspirit @DanielRicciardo pic.twitter.com/mZREmbRAnW
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) June 16, 2020
As with Mercedes’ two-day test at Silverstone last week, Renault will have used theirs to get accustomed to the new safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at upcoming races. During Mercedes’ tests, which featured reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas, the team released footage of its drivers and mechanics observing social distancing practices and wearing face masks/visors.
Ferrari, Alpha Tauri and Racing Point are expected to conduct tests of their own before the Austrian Grand Prix. Haas is one of the teams believed to have opted against running before the season starts.