Daniel Ricciardo says he will be forced to “learn quick” as he takes part in his first Formula 1 sprint weekend under the revised 2023 format.

This year, F1 is using an alternate sprint schedule compared to previous years, with two qualifying sessions dedicated to each of the races held across the weekend.

The format was first used in Azerbaijan, before returning at the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this month.

Ricciardo returned to a full-time race seat last time out in Hungary, driving for AlphaTauri for the remainder of the 2023 campaign.

But the Australian will be thrust into the deep end this weekend with only one practice outing scheduled before the competitive sessions, while wet weather is set to play a major part across the weekend.

“It’s going to be one of those weekends, you kind of start from scratch in the wet,” Ricciardo said. 

“Obviously I’d love to do a few laps in FP1 to get a feeling. The approach of it is ‘it’s going to be what it’s going to be’. 

“I think it’s going to be tricky, slippy and challenging. But hopefully the same for everyone. 

“I’ll just have to learn quick. I don’t think I’ll be too much on the back foot. I don’t expect to be two seconds off the pace and scratching my head.

“I just have to push myself a little earlier in the session and make sure I’m not falling too far behind, not playing catch up, that’s important.”

In Budapest, Ricciardo enjoyed a strong qualifying session and classified in 13th place, ahead of team-mate Yuki Tsunoda who was eliminated in Q1.

The Australian was involved in a multi-car collision at the first corner, but managed to escape relatively unscathed and cross the line in 13th.

Despite not scoring points, Ricciardo says he was happy with how he executed his first weekend back behind the wheel.

“The race weekend was probably as chaotic as it felt,” he said. “I really enjoyed it, I felt everything was under control, it was busy but it wasn’t too much. 

“I think even me just managing things more, it was just a more enjoyable experience than I found myself in more often in the last year or so, so that was really important. 

“I kind of joked ‘yeah I qualified 13th and finished 13th’ but I finished a lot happier than that would show. 

“I think that’s important, a lot of the time we’re driven so much by the result and how happiness is dictated by whether we get a podium or not. 

“To be happy with not even points is the way I want to go racing now. Obviously I’m very results-driven, but I felt like I had done everything I needed to. In the end, whatever you call it, a bit of bad luck at Turn 1 or whatever, it meant 13th.

“But I was still happy with everything that I put into the weekend. Also the support I got from the team, that’s also an unknown, how they’re going to react and respond to a new driver. 

“A week ago they didn’t know I was going to be driving the car. Also the spotlight is on the team. I think everyone handled it well.”

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