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Monday, February 26, 2024

Ricciardo “reborn” and “re-energised” after F1 return

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Having concluded his McLaren contract a year early on the finish of final season, Ricciardo joined the Red Bull camp as a check and reserve driver for 2023.

His alternative to race for AlphaTauri got here when AlphaTauri dropped rookie Nyck de Vries after a difficult start to the season.

Ricciardo’s return was interrupted by the hand harm he suffered in a crash in practice at Zandvoort that in the end price him 5 races, however his robust efficiency in Mexico Metropolis – the place he certified fourth and completed seventh – indicated a return to kind.

Requested in Abu Dhabi if the harm had in impact spoiled an in any other case perfect situation round his return, the Australian stated: “Clearly, I want this by no means occurred, simply because it was uncomfortable and painful and no matter.

“However now that it is clearly completed, I nonetheless look again on this yr as a Positive. As a result of sitting right here a yr in the past, I used to be like, might this be my final race?

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“I do not exaggerate after I say that. I actually did not know. I truthfully thought it was 50-50.

“So, to have the yr I’ve had and overlook the hand, I simply form of really feel a little bit bit possibly reborn once more, is form of the best phrase. I really feel simply re-energised.

“And I’ve undoubtedly acquired a second wind. If I then communicate of the hand, for this to not really feel like a setback most likely speaks volumes.

Photograph by: Erik Junius

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

“I might see how possibly some individuals would see that lame accident with excessive penalties, possibly Daniel ought to simply give it up.

“That is most likely only a signal that he ought to simply name it a day. However I by no means thought that, I by no means felt like that.

“So yeah, that was possibly much more energy to the choice of form of attempting to kick some butt.”

AlphaTauri finally completed the season eighth within the constructors’ standings, with Ricciardo contributing six of its 25 factors in his seven race outings.

Ricciardo says he’s realised that he can nonetheless have enjoyable even when he’s not in a automobile that may problem for wins.

“My enjoyment within the sport shouldn’t be results-based by way of sure, I will know what’s lap or what’s race, and that can assist me sleep at evening,” he stated. “It does not simply have to be profitable each time.

“And I believe I got here to the form of place the place I used to be completely completely satisfied and comfy at the moment driving for the tenth place crew on the grid, the place final yr after I stated I do not need to leap again right into a automobile if it is combating on the again, it did not make sense for me.

“However slowly it began to make an increasing number of sense.”

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