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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo 'can't underestimate' work put in by engineers in tough year

The Australian felt there was a key person within his team that made his comeback at AlphaTauri as smooth as possible during the final races of the season.

Ricciardo Abu Dhabi
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo has credited his engineer Pierre Hamelin for helping him during his comeback with AlphaTauri in Formula 1.

The Australian replaced Nyck de Vries at the Hungarian Grand Prix and was in the car for two races, before a hand injury set him back for five races between the Dutch and Qatar Grands Prix.

This meant Hamelin was working with a third driver for the season, after AlphaTauri elected to parachute in rookie Liam Lawson to contest the rounds while Ricciardo recovered.

Ricciardo believes the work put in by his engineer made his comeback a lot easier when speaking to media, including RacingNews365.

"As much as I believe in myself, I can't underestimate my engineer Pierre. He worked with three drivers this year and he's trying to set up the car for each driver," said Ricciardo.

"What we like what we don't, it's not easy for him as well. So I really look forward to a proper off-season and pre-season and I think 2024 is going to be exciting for us."

Ricciardo summarises the year

Ricciardo felt that gaining more experience in the car was key to extracting points finishes, with his best result being sixth at the Mexican Grand Prix.

"The summary of the year is race pace I was pretty happy with most days, that was something that was really positive," said Ricciardo.

"The more laps I get in the car, the more I understand it and get into a rhythm. That kind of explains a little bit of my positive feeling on race pace."

AlphaTauri introduced more updates towards the end of the year which contributed to their turn-around in form, having started off with the slowest car on the grid.

Ricciardo also pointed to the dynamic between himself and teammate Yuki Tsunoda as a reason why they were able to finish on a high.

"I obviously wasn't onboard for the first part of the season, but the way the team turned it around, [with] the updates, then I would like to think Yuki and myself pushed each other a little bit. That was positive for the team."

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