After leaving McLaren, Ricciardo became Red Bull’s third driver. He was then chosen to replace Nyck de Vries in Hungary at Red Bull’s sister team.
In his two races before the summer break the 34-year-old Australian has shown he has regained his competitive edge, outqualifying team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in Hungary and in Spa’s sprint shootout. A deleted laptime in Belgian Grand Prix qualifying cost him a shot at reaching Q2.
After being involved in a start collision and falling to the back of the pack, he managed to impress the team by making his way back up to 13th place in Hungary. However, in Belgium, he was unable to repeat this impressive recovery as the team struggled to find a solution to get him out of the congested traffic. On the other hand, Tsunoda achieved a significant achievement for the struggling Faenza squad by securing a valuable point in 10th place.
Before the race weekend, Red Bull team boss Horner stated that Ricciardo had fulfilled all the expectations set by Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
Horner stated that he believes the individual in question successfully fulfilled the requirements. Referring to their performance during the tyre test at Silverstone, Horner noted that their actions altered the initial expectations and they subsequently met all of them.
“He has brought a significant amount of expertise and potentially some guidance to AlphaTauri, clearly leveraging his experience as a former grand prix champion. He performed admirably and showcased his skills.”
Jody Egginton, the technical director of AlphaTauri, remarked on Ricciardo’s second race after returning at Spa, stating that it was challenging for Daniel due to spending a significant portion of the race amidst other cars.
Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04
Photo by: Erik Junius
Unfortunately, we couldn’t give him the opportunity to complete a solid series of laps in open space like he did successfully in Hungary. It was a bit unlucky. Nevertheless, his impressive performance in the Sprint race demonstrates that we are moving forward.
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Ricciardo expressed contentment with the initial progress of his comeback endeavor, considering the limited time he has spent in the car thus far. He anticipates that participating in two additional races prior to the summer break will provide him with an edge when the 2023 season recommences in late August.
“He expressed his satisfaction in having acquired these two items prior to the break as it provides him with definite material to ponder, expand upon, and present inquiries to the team,” he stated.
“Approximately a week and a half ago, I had not operated this vehicle, therefore, considering all aspects, I believe we are in a satisfactory condition.”