Formula One

Ricciardo returns: His comments on his comeback and his new helmet

Daniel Ricciardo returns to F1 and Alpha Tauri
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Daniel Ricciardo returns to Formula 1 this weekend, as he has secured a seat at Alpha Tauri for the rest of the season, at least. He replaces Nyck de Vries, who was sacked after a bad start to the season.

The Australian driver had his contract with McLaren terminated last year, after an array of disappointing results. He may have ended a nine-year victory drought for the team by winning the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but the following season was not good, as he scored just 37 points, while Lando Norris in the other McLaren scored 122.

After the conclusion of last season, he announced his return to Red Bull, as its test and reserve driver. He had previously raced for the team from 2014 to 2018, producing seven victories, 29 podiums and many unforgettable moments.

He now steps in at Alpha Tauri, an outfit he knows very well too. He raced for the team in 2012 and 2013, when it was known as Toro Rosso and he was a part of the Red Bull Junior Team.

His first race back is the Hungarian Grand Prix, at a venue he has won before. That happened in 2014, after a thrilling finale to the race.

Last week, following the British Grand Prix, Ricciardo tested the Red Bull RB19 as part of a Pirelli test at Silverstone. His lap times were rumoured to be very competitive, thus Red Bull and Alpha Tauri decided to replace de Vries with the Aussie with immediate effect.

He will now partner Yuki Tsunoda and their battle over the next twelve races will be intriguing. The teammate battle between them will be important for both, especially if Sergio Perez continues to struggle over the next few races.

Ricciardo comments on his return

Ahead of his return, Ricciardo spoke to media on what he expects and whether he can overcome the hurdles that proved disastrous for him during his stint at McLaren:

I think what hurt me the last couple of years was that I started probably just falling into a little bit of a trap where ‘Oh, yeah, this car doesn’t suit me. I need to work around this and this’

You can probably be your own worst enemy as well. I kind of go back to my first qualifying with McLaren, I did a great quali. And that was when I kind of didn’t know so much yet.

So, I’m not really thinking too much. I know the car will have limitations and I’m sure it’s not going to feel as good as the car [the Red Bull] I drove a week ago. But I’ll just work with that.

I drove it on the sim last week, and it seemed okay. I think it was a solid day on the sim. We obviously need to see if that translates but yeah, ask me tomorrow once I’ve driven it.

Ricciardo’s helmet

During the Thursday activities at the Hungaroring, Ricciardo also showcased his new helmet design for the rest of the season. The design, which features heavy Alpha Tauri branding, includes beige and dark blue as its base colours and in the form of flames.

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