Daniel Ricciardo explains AlphaTauri Las Vegas disappointment and hopes for Abu Dhabi GP

AlphaTauri endured a tough Las Vegas GP but hope to end the 2023 F1 season on a high

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Despite a poor Las Vegas Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo is upbeat about AlphaTauri‘s chances of a good result in Sunday’s 2023 Abu Dhabi GP and is expecting a return to the form we saw in Mexico City, Austin and Sao Paulo.

The 2023 Las Vegas GP was a miserable affair for Ricciardo as AlphaTauri‘s lack of pace and tyre grip made the Australian’s weekend challenging, as he could only manage 14th.

Ricciardo will be looking to re-find the form at Yas Marina on a crucial weekend for AlphaTauri in their battle with Williams for seventh place in the constructors’ championship.

“Yeah, one does,” Ricciardo confidently said, when asked about his confidence in a good result by the press. “Hopefully, that speed we showed in the triple header can be put on display again, and I’d say a more standard circuit, so I’m confident.

“There were no extracurricular reasons why we didn’t perform [in Las Vegas], but now we did some analysis post-race a little bit more today we went through, and I think we know, let’s say, the fundamental reasons or things that we maybe got wrong.

“But yeah, it was tricky, obviously, it’s a new track for everyone, it’s a street circuit, and then, obviously, it was really the asphalt and the temperatures.

“I think that was obviously something that was a bit of a challenge to kind of get on top of and get the tyres working and in the right window and that’s ultimately where we struggled. 

“So during the race, the race starts the restarts, I felt like we were just sliding a little more than the others, and that put us on the back foot a lot.”

AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost during 2022 Saudi Arabian GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Pays tribute to departing legend Tost

At the end of this Sunday’s Abu Dhabi GP, AlphaTauri’s team principal, Franz Tost, will depart the team after 17 years as its team principal.

During Tost’s tenure, the team became a respectable midfield runner and has changed names from Scuderia Toro Rosso to Scuderia AlphaTauri, although the team’s name is likely to change again after the 2023 season.

Tost also oversaw the maiden F1 wins for Sebastian Vettel at the 2008 Italian GP and Pierre Gasly at the 2020 Italian GP, as well as the development of drivers such as Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. 

“I think for the team, he’s been everything, obviously starting off in the Toro Rosso days, that’s where I started on my first full season in F1,” reflected Ricciardo.

I remember quite vividly the first meeting I had in his office, and I kind of bounced in with a smile, and I think he looked at me like [and] tried to prepare me for what for what’s ahead, it’s a serious sport, and it’s a tough old world. 

Daniel Ricciardo of AlphaTauri during 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“So I think, yeah, was very honest with me as well, but it made me a bit a little bit the same, as you know, with helmet kind of made me mature a little quicker and ultimately grow up, and I think Franz has always been really involved. 

“He’s in every debrief, he’ll normally speak as well in the debriefs and give some analysis or advice or anything he’s seen like he’s fully involved in it, and it’s his passion it’s been it’s everything that’s kind of given him drive for so many years. 

“I hope he can enjoy, like, putting his feet up a little bit next year I’m not sure fully what that is going to entail for him.

“But I really hope he’s able to enjoy some R&R (rest and relaxation), but yeah, a lot of good memories and actually really nice for me personally to come back to the team and, let’s say, be here for his farewell.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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