Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

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

Daniel Ricciardo says he’s feeling “reborn” and “re-energised” after returning to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri since the summer break.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

Red Bull Content Pool

Having concluded his McLaren contract a year early at the end of last season, Ricciardo joined the Red Bull camp as a test and reserve driver for 2023.

His opportunity to race for AlphaTauri came when AlphaTauri dropped rookie Nyck de Vries after a difficult start to the season.

Ricciardo's return was interrupted by the hand injury he suffered in a crash in practice at Zandvoort that ultimately cost him five races, but his strong performance in Mexico City – where he qualified fourth and finished seventh – indicated a return to form.

Asked in Abu Dhabi if the injury had in effect spoiled an otherwise ideal scenario around his return, the Australian said: “Obviously, I wish this never happened, just because it was uncomfortable and painful and whatever.

“But now that it's obviously done, I still look back on this year as a positive. Because sitting here a year ago, I was like, could this be my last race?

“I don't exaggerate when I say that. I really didn't know. I honestly thought it was 50-50.

“So, to have the year I've had and forget the hand, I just kind of feel a little bit maybe reborn again, is kind of the right word. I feel just re-energised.

“And I've definitely got a second wind. If I then speak of the hand, for this not to feel like a setback probably speaks volumes.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Erik Junius

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

“I could see how maybe some people would see that lame accident with high consequences, maybe Daniel should just give it up.

“That's probably just a sign that he should just call it a day. But I never thought that, I never felt like that.

“So yeah, that was maybe even more power to the decision of kind of trying to kick some butt.”

AlphaTauri eventually finished the season eighth in the constructors' standings, with Ricciardo contributing six of its 25 points in his seven race outings.

Ricciardo says he’s realised that he can still have fun even if he’s not in a car that can challenge for wins.

“My enjoyment in the sport should not be results-based in terms of yes, I'll know what's a good lap or what's a good race, and that will help me sleep at night,” he said. “It doesn't just need to be winning every time.

“And I think I came to the kind of place where I was totally happy and comfortable at that time driving for the 10th place team on the grid, where last year when I said I don't want to jump back into a car if it's fighting at the back, it didn't make sense for me.

“But slowly it started to make more and more sense.”

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Super Formula champion Nojiri completes maiden F1 outing in 2021 Red Bull
Next article The crucial detail that could determine Andretti’s F1 bid success 

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe