After dropping his McLaren drive to Oscar Piastri, the Australian is making his F1 race return at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix as a substitute for the axed Nyck de Vries.
Though he’s enthusiastic about his comeback on the group he final raced for in its Toro Rosso guise in 2013, he’s conscious that the AlphaTauri is the slowest automotive on the grid with the Faenza squad firmly on the backside of the constructors’ championship standings.
Worse is the truth that its AT04 automotive is known to have had a weakness throughout the season on corner entry, an space the place Ricciardo significantly struggled throughout his two years at McLaren.
That would arrange a state of affairs the place Ricciardo finds himself battling the identical points that he got here unstuck with the final time he was competing.
Requested by Autosport on the Hungaroring on Thursday if this specific side of the AlphaTauri automotive was a priority, Ricciardo felt he was in a greater place to handle it than he was at McLaren.
“I feel what damage me the final couple of years was that I began most likely simply falling into slightly little bit of a entice the place ‘Oh, yeah, this automotive would not go well with me. I have to work round this and this’,” he stated.
“You’ll be able to most likely be your individual worst enemy as effectively. I sort of return to my first qualifying with McLaren, I did a fantastic quali. And that was after I sort of did not know a lot but.
“So, I am probably not pondering an excessive amount of. I do know the automotive may have limitations and I am positive it isn’t going to really feel pretty much as good because the automotive [the Red Bull] I drove every week in the past. However I will simply work with that.
“I drove it on the sim final week, and it appeared okay. I feel it was a stable day on the sim. We clearly have to see if that interprets however yeah, ask me tomorrow as soon as I’ve pushed it.”
Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri, with Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri
Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Ricciardo stated that having day out from F1 after his tough spell at McLaren has made him higher realise the errors he made, which ought to put him in higher stead for the challenges at AlphaTauri.
“There’s loads I discovered, and I feel not solely simply singling out the final two years, or no matter,” he defined.
“Having the final six months to truly mirror on my profession, I have been in a position to see simply see just a few issues that I’d have carried out totally different, or the place I ought to have most likely modified that or spoke up about that.”
Whereas Ricciardo made clear when he left McLaren that he was solely concerned with returning to the F1 grid in aggressive equipment, he says he accepted the AlphaTauri drive as a result of he felt it was one of the simplest ways of attaining his ‘dream’ of touchdown a seat again at Purple Bull.
Requested what had modified from his stance of solely eager to race prime equipment, Ricciardo stated: “I feel a few issues. Clearly, I had sufficient time without work to as an instance reset, but additionally simply sort of get pleasure from it once more. I already felt that on the simulator to this point this yr.
“However then additionally, that is why I needed to drive the automotive and actually make it possible for it is nonetheless clearly really what I really like doing most. I used to be, as an instance, up to the mark actually fast, and it felt so good once more.
“I knew additionally, after the whole lot that occurred over the previous few years and getting again into the game, taking a while off, I knew it could be very laborious to return to the highest.
“After all, that was my want, however I feel additionally you might want to be life like sooner or later and say, ‘Okay, if I wish to get again to say, a Purple Bull seat, then it should take a little bit of a course of and a path.’ And this, for me, is the very best path for the time being.
“And in addition, six months in the past, I most likely wasn’t in a spot to leap at a chance like this. However that is been the luxurious of time now, the place I’ve fallen in love with it once more.
“I really feel like I have been myself once more, most likely again as effectively in an setting that simply offers me a number of nostalgia.”