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Formula 1 Mexico City GP

Ricciardo: F1 Mexico GP was "the weekend I dreamed of"

Daniel Ricciardo says Formula 1's Mexico Grand Prix was "the weekend I dreamed of" after scoring his first points following his AlphaTauri comeback.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Ricciardo was the star of qualifying by claiming fourth on the grid at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, narrowly behind the two Ferraris and season dominator Max Verstappen.

Although he was unable to stay in the top five due to an ill-timed red flag, Ricciardo clinched a huge result for AlphaTauri in seventh, his first points since his return to the Faenza squad in the second half of this season and his subsequent injury lay-off.

"After last week this is the weekend I dreamed of," Ricciardo told Sky Sports, referring to a tricky Austin weekend which was his first appearance since breaking his wrist in practice for August's Dutch Grand Prix.

"I feel good, better than good. Relieved as well, because two starts... you hold your breath because it's such a long run to Turn 1 and anything can happen."

Ricciardo ran comfortably in the top five in the opening stages, but a red flag for Kevin Magnussen's accident gave cars around him the option to bolt on the preferred medium tyres, which Ricciardo no longer had available.

He was powerless to resist the impressive Lando Norris in the second part of the race, and also had to settle behind the Mercedes of George Russell.

Expanding on his race to the print media, Ricciardo felt being able to race a Mercedes on merit outweighed the disappointment of not holding on to a top five finish.

"It's honestly the red flag that hurt us, but I don't want to say it too selfishly because there was a big accident," he said.

Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri

"Obviously, it bunched everyone up and allowed some cars to use a medium, which we didn't have. But to still come out with seventh and six points, we have to be very happy. 

"We got very close to George at the end. I think big picture, just to be battling the Mercedes at the end makes me more happy than [I'm sad at] missing out on sixth."

Ricciardo's Austin return was compromised due to the sprint format, which gave the Australian just one practice session to adjust to an AT04 that had been heavily upgraded since his previous appearance.

He was able to work with AlphaTauri on finding a more comfortable set-up on a regular Mexico weekend, which yielded his first points since last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with McLaren.
 
"I'm not surprised we had a good weekend because I was just ready for it," he added.

"The direction we went with the set-up, I knew that would allow me to just have a bit more confidence with the car."

Ricciardo's result lifted AlphaTauri off the bottom of the constructors' championship, getting on par with Alfa Romeo in eighth.

 

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