Daniel Ricciardo claims he’s “not scared” ahead of his return to Formula 1 despite accepting that the 2023 AlphaTauri car will possess several “limitations”.  

The Australian was confirmed at the Faenza side for the remainder of the season on Tuesday following the decision to axe Nyck de Vries only 10 races into the season.

Amid rumoured interest from Haas late year, Ricciardo previously expressed that he would only embark on a full-time F1 comeback with a side capable of challenging at the front.

However, the Perth-born driver is returning with an AlphaTauri team that has only scored two points in 2023 and is rooted to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship.

Ricciardo, though, declares he is not fazed by the challenge of hauling the Italian outfit up the order – but acknowledges that it will represent a vast proposition to the Red Bull RB19 car he tested on Tuesday.

“I’m excited about it – it’s a challenge for sure to jump in and try to hit the ground running,” Ricciardo said in an exclusive interview on the F1 YouTube channel.

“But also, I feel like I’ve been through a lot the last few years where I’m not really scared of anything that’s going to be thrown my way.

“I appreciate the car is going to have its limitations. It might not have as much grip as the Red Bull I drove a few days ago but, if it feels relatively balanced, then that’s something I can work with.”

Ricciardo will commence his second stint with Red Bull’s sister side at next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix to mark his first race start since Abu Dhabi last December.

As for the expectations that have been set upon him by the Red Bull bosses, the 34-year-old highlights that he expects to hit the ground running in the AT04 machine.

“They expect results, performances, but I think until I get in the car, it’s hard to define what that is. Is it a P8? Is it a P14? I don’t think there’s pressure until the summer break.

“But I also don’t expect to get off to a slow start. I want to hit the ground running and try and also use what I’ve learned in this time off to put it to use.”

He added: “I know it’s been tough to get a points finish this year so [I will] push this car and try to get it inside the top 10. I think that would get everyone pretty fulfilled and excited.”

Meanwhile, Ricciardo reveals he had no doubts about cutting short his sabbatical to partner Yuki Tsunoda for the remaining 11 rounds of the campaign.

“I didn’t really need to think much about it,” he stated. “Being back in this [Red Bull] family, I feel like I’m just going through it all again and these are the calls that I used to get.

“So, there was no question that I was going to say yes. It was just the reality of ‘OK, it’s going to happen pretty soon’.

“I’ve been part of the Red Bull family for so long. And I know that these things can happen. So even though I was for sure taking some time off this year, in the back of my mind I knew maybe I will get a call.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *