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Ricciardo: "Frustrating to hit pause" on AlphaTauri F1 comeback

Daniel Ricciardo says it was "frustrating" to "hit pause" on his Formula 1 comeback with AlphaTauri ahead of his return to the cockpit in Austin.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

Red Bull Content Pool

Ricciardo broke his wrist in practice for Zandvoort's Dutch Grand Prix back in August, which halted his F1 return after just two races.

Ricciardo sat out five race weekends while being deputised by reserve driver Liam Lawson, but will return to the wheel of AlphaTauri's AT04 at this weekend US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

PLUS: How a devastating title loss steeled Lawson for F1

"It was definitely frustrating watching the past few races," Ricciardo said.

"Especially as I’d gotten myself to a place where I was so ready to go again and race, and then I did two events and had to hit pause again, but actually, the time without racing went quite quickly."

Ricciardo revealed he was not yet at his "full potential" when testing his hand in a pre-Qatar simulator session, but he now feels he is fully ready to race again.

"My hand is much better, and the simulator was a useful way of assessing it," he explained.

"I tried it out in the week before Qatar, but I didn’t feel it was at full potential, so I spent the rest of that week in the UK, spending more time in the sim, and got to a point where I felt ready to go.

Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri in the paddock with Mark Webber

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri in the paddock with Mark Webber

"My overall fitness is fine as I kept training as much as I could, although I obviously couldn’t do much with my left hand or arm for a while."

While Ricciardo was out of action, Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda benefitted from an upgraded AlphaTauri, which has helped the former score two points in Singapore.

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But the Faenza squad is still last in the championship, seven points behind ninth-placed Haas which itself has brought wholesale car changes to Austin.

"The current car has moved on a bit since I last drove it, but the sim was useful to get an idea of what the changes and updates have delivered," Ricciardo commented on how his car has changed during his recovery.

"I felt a little bit of their effect, but it’s one of those things I think, once I get on track, I’ll feel them to their full effect.

"I was there in Singapore when they tried it the first time, and it was interesting to hear the feedback and comments, which were mostly positive. So, I’m excited to see what it’s like first-hand."

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