Nyck de Vries was replaced by Red Bull’s third driver, Ricciardo, after just ten races into his first F1 season due to underperformance compared to Yuki Tsunoda. Ricciardo will begin his journey from the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.
With no specific expectations outlined for his initial races with AlphaTauri, Ricciardo recognizes the immense task ahead at a team that is currently at the bottom of the constructors’ championship.
“I’m eager for this – it’s a real test to step in and aim for immediate impact,” Ricciardo conveyed in an interview on F1’s YouTube channel.
“Moreover, I believe I’ve faced enough challenges over the last few years that I’m not easily intimidated by anything that comes my way.
“I understand the car may have its constraints. It might not have the grip level of the Red Bull I drove recently, but if it provides a reasonably balanced performance, that’s something I can adjust to.
“They’re expecting results, top performances, but I think it’s challenging to outline that until I’m in the car. Is it P8? Is it P14? I believe the pressure doesn’t build until the summer break.
“But I’m also not planning for a sluggish start. I aim to make an immediate impact and apply the lessons I’ve learned during this break.”
Ricciardo’s unexpected summoning came mid-way into his sabbatical, following a challenging two-year tenure at McLaren. Despite the call from Helmut Marko arriving sooner than anticipated, Ricciardo asserted it happened at the right time, reigniting his aspiration to return.
“I didn’t have to ponder much,” Ricciardo stated. “Being back with this [Red Bull] squad, I feel like I’m reliving the past, receiving the calls I used to get.
“There was no doubt that I would accept. The reality was ‘Alright, this is going to happen fairly soon’.
“Having been a part of the Red Bull family for so long, I know these things occur. Even though I was on a break this year, at the back of my mind, I was prepared for a possible call.”
Ricciardo confessed his motivation for a comeback didn’t reappear instantly after expressing he had “lost passion” for F1 by the end of the previous year.
Christian Horner of Red Bull earlier stated that the team barely recognized the old Ricciardo during his initial sim sessions as the third driver.
After a few sessions, Ricciardo admitted he “started feeling like myself again”.
“Returning to Red Bull and the warm welcome I received was somewhat – in a good way – overwhelming,” he elaborated.
“I started feeling like myself again after a few sim sessions. That made me revert to the normal Daniel, reigniting my passion and readiness to go again.”
Attending the Super Bowl and making appearances at the Australian and Monaco Grand Prix helped reawaken his desire, with Ricciardo realizing he missed being part of the spectacle.
“The moment I attended the Super Bowl, I found myself in a competitive atmosphere again. That’s when I began to feel those familiar emotions,” he shared.
“And it dawned on me, this competitive spirit hadn’t faded. I yearned to be under the spotlight, to compete right then. So that was the point where things started to shift.
“I wasn’t extremely eager back in Melbourne, but the feeling was growing.
“Monaco was the turning point. I watched the qualifying, and it was exciting. That’s when I truly felt: ‘Ah, racing here would be really fun.'”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri Comeback
Who is replacing Nyck de Vries in AlphaTauri for the F1 season?
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull’s third driver, is replacing Nyck de Vries in AlphaTauri.
When will Ricciardo start his journey with AlphaTauri?
Ricciardo will begin his journey with AlphaTauri from the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.
What are Ricciardo’s expectations from his return to AlphaTauri?
Ricciardo has not outlined any specific expectations for his initial races with AlphaTauri. He acknowledges the team’s current struggles but is eager to make an immediate impact and apply the lessons he learned during his break.
How does Ricciardo feel about his unexpected summoning to AlphaTauri?
Ricciardo was surprised but ready for the call to join AlphaTauri. Despite receiving the call earlier than anticipated, he stated that it happened at the right time, reigniting his aspiration to return to F1.
What reignited Ricciardo’s passion for F1?
Attending the Super Bowl and making appearances at the Australian and Monaco Grand Prix helped reawaken his desire to be part of the competitive atmosphere of F1. He started to feel his old self again during his sim sessions with Red Bull.