Daniel Ricciardo has said he is relatively happy with his performance after his first race since returning to F1 with AlphaTauri following his exit from McLaren at the end of last season.
Ricciardo finished 13th in the Hungarian GP after being tagged from behind by the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu going into Turn 1, an incident which caused the retirement of both Alpine cars after the AlphaTauri ricocheted Esteban Ocon into his teammate Pierre Gasly.
While Zhou was able to continue alongside Ricciardo, although with a 5-second time penalty for causing the crash, the Australian was unable to get up the grid and fight for points on his return to action.
“Early in the race we got a hit from behind into Turn 1. So that put me at the tail of the field, and I was kind of just stuck behind a bit of a train with Sargeant and someone else,” Ricciardo said to media after the race.
“Even with these new cars, this circuit is definitely a hard one to follow. But as soon as I think they picked up quite early, and as soon as they did, I felt like I had the grip coming back in. So I thought, okay, let’s, let’s see what we can do in clean air.
“And that was better. And then we pitted relatively early. And I think we got put back in traffic. And that’s when I was like, yeah, just whatever we can do, let’s have a thing to give me clear air a because it’s so hard to follow us. And we have been a little bit down and top speed.
“So this weekend, it was just trying to do an ultimate strategy, I actually felt good with the tires, you know, they lose grip quite early, we lost all the temperatures, but then I felt like managing it better. That’s why I was confident to also take a punt on the medium.
“And we went from that. So apart from Turn 1, which wasn’t my doing, I thought it was really good.”
Ricciardo said that despite his misfortune on the first lap, he would take away a lot of lessons for how to proceed in what has proved to be a tricky AlphaTauri car for the rest of the season.
Yeah, that was that was really important. And I think it would have been a much more probably discouraging race. And as you mentioned, maybe still a lot of questions to be answered.
So just having the pace setting the clean air and making a few mistakes, learning from those knowing what the car likes what it doesn’t, I think I learned a lot from the race.