Daniel Ricciardo says that he grateful Red Bull didn’t wait until the summer to bring him back as he enters the ‘second chapter’ of his Formula 1 career.
Ricciardo made his return at the 2023 Hungarian GP and delivered a strong performance as qualified and finished ahead of Yuki Tsunoda.
He was close to an impressive showing at the Belgian Grand Prix until a time deletion for track limits in sprint qualifying denied him a place in SQ3.
Whilst AlphaTauri are intended to be a brief home for Ricciardo from his end, he is grateful for the opportunity Helmut Marko and Franz Tost have given him.
“Personally, very happy that they kind of threw me in a little bit the deep end,” Ricciardo said to the media. “And I think it prepared me a lot better for the second half the season.
“I think Budapest, I honestly couldn’t have asked for much more on that weekend. I was really happy with my performance and how I got into it.
“And then Spa, the little bit of a mistake and qualifying on the Friday then affected the Sunday.
“I think the approach was right, just obviously paid the price for trying a little bit too hard probably. I feel like I’ve hit the ground running and feel content.”
Ricciardo mentally in a good zone
Red Bull initially had Ricciardo as a reserve driver and noted that they did not recognise his driving style following a difficult tenure at McLaren.
However after nursing the eight times Grands Prix winner back to his old ways, Ricciardo is once again feeling good, confident and determined.
“This kind of second chapter of my career I am feeling just different about things,” Ricciardo added. “I feel like at least right now in my heads I’m in a very good place and I’m taking it seriously.
“I mean I’m not obviously putting unnecessary pressure on myself or anything, but I just have some goals to achieve and some things to chase. So that’s where I’m at.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.