AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo has given an update on his wrist after returning to action at the 2023 United States Grand Prix following surgery which forced him to miss five races.
Ricciardo finished outside of the points for AlphaTauri last time out at the Circuit of the Americas, but goes into the 2023 Mexico City GP at least in the knowledge that his wrist should be able to take the strain, after getting back behind the wheel for the first time since he broke a bone in his hand at the Dutch GP.
With the US GP being a Sprint weekend, there was plenty of opportunity to really put the wrist through its paces, but also potentially aggravate it, though it appears the latter did not really come to pass too much.
“Saturday I felt it,” said Ricciardo to the press in Mexico. “Which I wasn’t too surprised about, but obviously then I’m thinking Sunday’s three times the distance so what’s going to happen.
“But actually I think it kind of warmed me up, so I did feel better Sunday than Saturday which is kind of weird but I think as well with F1 you get conditioned so quickly it’s just kind of natural.
“You go through the forces over the weekend and you get stronger each day and I felt ok.
“I mean it was hard, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. But I felt fine and I did leave Sunday night on one hand happy to race again but on the other knowing I could do more.”
Ricciardo on unique Mexico City
AlphaTauri scored good points last time out in Austin as they battle at the bottom of the constructors’ standings, with Yuki Tsunoda classified in P8 and also recording the fastest lap of the race.
Ricciardo, who has already been confirmed to stay at AlphaTauri for 2024, will want to achieve similar this weekend.
“The track itself is another unique one,” said Ricciardo. “The grip here is so low because of the altitude, and it’s normally a track where you’re never going to have a perfect car.
“It’s never going to feel grippy and awesome, so you’ve really just got to make do with what it is and navigate that with some patience.
“I do like it as a venue and as a circuit, because, a bit like Austin, it provides unique challenges, and when you get it right around there, you can make up a lot of time.
“The first sector is very fast, but when you get into the next part, even the first few corners and the chicane, you’ve got to take the kerbs.
“If you take too much, it can kill your lap time, and if you don’t take enough, then you leave time on the table so that section is really tricky. Even though it’s low-speed in third gear, it’s really quite hard to get right, lap after lap.
“The atmosphere at the circuit is incredible, and I’d say the drivers’ parade could be the best one of the year, especially when we enter the stadium section, the noise is unbelievable. We don’t have that anywhere else, so Mexico on Sunday afternoon is certainly a treat.”