Daniel Ricciardo claims he is ‘totally happy and comfortable’ racing for AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo is locked with the AlphaTauri team for another year, and is gunning for the Red Bull team in 2025.


Daniel Ricciardo claims he is ‘totally happy and comfortable’ racing for AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo (Via IMAGO)

Daniel Ricciardo has expressed newfound contentment and satisfaction with his racing career, particularly during his stint with AlphaTauri after the summer break. The Australian driver, known for his infectious smile and exuberant personality, used strong language to describe his current state, stating that he feels “totally happy and comfortable” with his current team.

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Ricciardo’s journey in the 2023 Formula 1 season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. Having cut ties with McLaren a year earlier than planned, Ricciardo found himself in an unexpected role as a test and reserve driver for the Red Bull camp. However, fate had other plans for him when AlphaTauri decided to part ways with rookie Nyck de Vries, offering Ricciardo a racing opportunity.

The Australian driver’s return to the track was marred by a hand injury sustained in a crash during practice at Zandvoort. Despite this setback, Ricciardo showcased resilience and determination, returning to form with a stellar performance in Mexico City, where he secured a fourth-place qualification and finished the race in seventh position.

Ricciardo emphasizes that his joy in racing shouldn’t solely hinge on results. He values the experience and finds contentment beyond victories, expressing newfound comfort even with a 10th-place team. Speaking to Autosport.com, he said;

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I think I came to the kind of place where I was totally happy and comfortable at that time driving for the 10th place team on the grid, where last year when I said I don't want to jump back into a car if it's fighting at the back, it didn't make sense for me. But slowly it started to make more and more sense.

Daniel Ricciardo shares that he is reborn and re-energised driving for AlphaTauri

Reflecting on his tumultuous year, Ricciardo acknowledged the challenges posed by the hand injury but chose to focus on the positives. A year ago, uncertainty clouded his future in the sport, leading him to ponder if it could be his last race. However, the events of the past year have reshaped his perspective, leading him to declare that he feels “reborn” and “re-energised,” describing the experience as a “second wind” in his career.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri
Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri (CREDITS: Sporting News)

Despite AlphaTauri finishing the season in eighth place in the constructors’ standings, Ricciardo played a crucial role, contributing six of the team’s 25 points in his seven-race outings. This highlights his impact on the team’s performance and further solidifies his positive outlook on the season.

Perhaps the most significant revelation from Ricciardo is his newfound understanding that his enjoyment of the sport is not solely tied to results. In a sport notorious for its cutthroat competition and emphasis on podium finishes, Ricciardo boldly stated, “My enjoyment in the sport should not be results-based.” He emphasized that winning is not the only factor that helps him sleep at night and that he has found happiness even when racing for a team not contending for victories.

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