Daniel Ricciardo has insisted he has a “point to prove” by returning to the Formula 1 grid but insists he’s not carrying around extra pressure.
AlphaTauri announced it had parted ways with Nyck de Vries after just 10 races this term, drafting in Ricciardo as his replacement having fulfilled third driver responsibilities for Red Bull.
The Australian driver, who was dropped by McLaren at the end of last term, impressed during his first race weekend back in Hungary, before a qualifying mistake at Spa-Francorchamps put him on the back foot for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Having admitted he fell out of love with F1 amid his difficult two-year stint with McLaren, the 34-year-old believes he is rediscovering his passion for the sport.
“That’s really what I'm trying to get back to, get back to the start, get back to the early days and the real kind of roots and the core of why I got into this and the things that motivated me and then why I wanted to be here in this position," he told media including RacingNews365.com.
“So yeah, just kind of strip everything back and just get back to the pure enjoyment of the sport and the love of it.
“Obviously, [that] probably got a little bit clouded over the last year or two and I certainly found myself in a place where I was enjoying it as much as I wanted.”
Viewed by others:
No extra pressure
The eight-time Grand Prix winner has expressed that his ultimate goal is to return to his former Red Bull squad in a full-time capacity before retiring.
While he works towards his goal, Ricciardo has stated he will take time to enjoy being back in the sport.
“Six months ago, I wasn't sure if I would get back in the sport or race again,” he said.
“So I even just take this now was every weekend is a bonus you know, I'm here, I'm racing, I’m loving it.
“I'm going to enjoy it. There's not really too much pressure or anything. I feel I have a point to prove but I'm not carrying too much weight with that.”