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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo reveals objectives for AlphaTauri debut

The Australian makes his F1 race return at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo Hungary
To news overview © XPBimages

Daniel Ricciardo says he has no expectations ahead of his AlphaTauri debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he prepares for his first F1 race in eight months.

The Australian, who had been serving as Red Bull's reserve driver, replaces Nyck De Vries, who was fired last week after underperforming so far in 2023.

Ricciardo said that working his way back up into a seat at Red Bull – for whom he raced between 2014 and 2018 – was his ultimate goal, but was keen to manage expectations of what could currently be achieved with AlphaTauri, who sit bottom of the Constructors' Championship with just two points from ten races.

"Red Bull is the dream, so to speak, but there's no point me thinking about that. There is a lot of work to do here," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"In terms of expectation, there is none. It's just for me, everything I felt driving the car last week is how I want to go racing again. I just want to be in the moment, enjoying it, not thinking too far ahead.

"I know the [AlphaTauri] car is going to have some limitations, but I've got to do the best with what I've got. If it's something I feel I can work with then that's all I need to then feel good behind the wheel again and use some of my experience to push the team.

"As far as this weekend goes, if you say 'where do you want to finish?' I couldn't tell you, because I just want to know that I've put everything into it and done a lap that I'm proud of."

Ricciardo keen to impress to secure longer deal

Ricciardo's AlphaTauri deal covers only the rest of the 2023 season, and the Australian said that while he had not been given any specific objectives to achieve, he needs to impress in order to remain in a race seat into 2024.

"For sure, there's no real criteria at the moment, but I need to show something for sure," Ricciardo said.

"But also for next year and beyond, there's no guarantees - probably ever - with this sport."

The timing of Ricciardo's appointment came as a surprise, with some suggesting that F1's four-week break after next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix would have been a more apposite time to make a driver change.

However, the Australian said jumping straight into a double-header in Hungary and Belgium would give him plenty of data to work through over August.

"In a way, [coming in during] the summer break would have been more conventional, but I kind of like that I've got two races and then the break," said Ricciardo.

"I've then got some things to think about over the course of the break, so I'm going to try and soak up as much of these two as I can, and then come Zandvoort, have a little bit more of a guidance or awareness of where I probably expect to be myself."

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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