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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo will benefit from escaping F1 'washing machine' - Albon

Ricciardo's return has been one of the key talking points of the season.

Ricciardo Belgium
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Williams driver Alex Albon believes Daniel Ricciardo will have benefitted from escaping F1's "washing machine".

The Australian left the grid at the end of last season after two disappointing seasons with McLaren, instead joining Red Bull as third driver.

Ricciardo was only on the sidelines for six months, however, as AlphaTauri parted ways with Nyck de Vries after the Dutchman struggled to stamp his mark across the opening 10 races of the season.

Albon, who experienced the revolving door at Red Bull when demoted at the end of 2021 before taking a year out, conceded the de Vries ousting "definitely happened sooner than I expected".

"Clearly, they were very happy with Daniel's test, it looks like it accelerated the decision," Albon told media, including RacingNews365.

"It happened pretty soon, I know Nyck well and he is a very good driver.

"Ten races is an early moment to do it, I would have expected at least until the summer break.

"But I don't know the reasons."

Demons

Albon came back from his sabbatical in impressive fashion with back-of-the-grid Williams, helping to bring the Grove-based outfit into midfield contention.

On how his experience could be replicated by Ricciardo upon his return, the Thai-British driver explained: "I had a year out, he has had a little less but that year did help me.

"When you are in the circus and when things aren't going well and you are going from race to race, you are not really able to reflect and to understand really what's going on.

"You're in the washing machine and having that time, it's important to be able to reflect and improve, but also purely good in the sense where you get time away and you can fully reset mentally.

"The reset is very important because you start to lose a bit of confidence and having time away, it does get rid of the demons.

"I valued my time in DTM because it was actually driving something a little bit different.

"But it gave me confidence in a different kind of way. I was still driving a racing car so you still need to be confident and driving that kind of car did that to me and felt like when it came back into my first winter test with Williams, straightaway I started more confident than when I left.

"Just seeing Daniel and seeing the buzz he has, I think that has happened to him."

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