Daniel Ricciardo says he will use the Formula 1 summer break to improve his physical fitness following his return to the grid.

Ricciardo departed the sport in a full-time capacity at the end of the 2022 campaign following two difficult seasons with McLaren.

The Australian returned to Red Bull this year, where he previously drove from 2014 to 2018.

On this occasion however, Ricciardo worked as a third driver and assisted the team in simulator and marketing duties.

But ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ricciardo was called up to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri, who endured a difficult opening series of races to his F1 career. 

Ricciardo impressed at the Hungaroring before enduring a quieter affair at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, which was the final race event before the summer break.

With the shutdown now in play, Ricciardo says he will use the break to improve his physical fitness, which dwindled slightly while being away from the grid.

“I want to use this time to… I say catch up in terms of a physical standpoint,” Ricciardo said. 

“Obviously my race fitness isn’t what all of the other drivers’ is. But probably one of the things I felt happier about was how I felt after the [Spa] race. 

“I actually felt a lot better than I thought I was going to feel. When shutdown is on, I’m just going to use that to train. 

“Of course, try and enjoy a little bit of a holiday, but I’ve had a holiday for six months. Zandvoort is very physical as well, it’s very hard on the neck that one, it’s fast.

“So just make sure I’m doing that. I think if I’m physically in shape and mentally and everything, it feels easier coming into the race weekend. There are less questions to be answered.”

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