Daniel Ricciardo demands AlphaTauri meets his expectations

Eight-time Grand Prix winner, Daniel Ricciardo, says he has a specific desire for the AlphaTauri car.

Daniel Ricciardo will be heading to the Hungarian GP as a racer for AlphaTauri and he has set out certain expectations for the vehicle he’ll be driving.

The Australian driver left Formula 1 at the end of a torrid 2022 season with McLaren, where he was completely outshone by then-teammate Lando Norris.

Now, he returns to the big stage after replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.

This follows a spell as third driver for Red Bull, where he was below the pecking order behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

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The 34-year-old driver appears to have renewed optimism about his career, as he targets a 2025 return to the Red Bull team.

First, he will have to prove himself at Red Bull’s junior outfit, and he has two races to do this before the summer break.

Ricciardo said: “I’m stoked to be back. As always with the Red Bull family, you have to be ready for a call and when it came I jumped at the opportunity.

“The transition to AlphaTauri has gone smoothly.

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“The AlphaTauri car will be what it is. I’m going to drive it and work from there.

“I don’t want to have too many preconceived ideas about it. I think if it’s a car that feels balanced, that’s something I can work with.”

It’s no secret that Ricciardo is eyeing a return to Red Bull and views AlphaTauri as a stepping stone to this aim.

However, he says this doesn’t mean he won’t be firing on all cylinders in order to push AlphaTauri up the team rankings. 

The team currently sits dead last in the constructors’ standings, having gained only 2 points in the 2023 season.

Ricciardo commented: “I’m looking forward to also developing the car and using my experience, and ultimately, I think, for Budapest, just go out and have fun.

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“(I’ll) try and use more right foot than left and have a good time!”

While points may not be a realistic target for AlphaTauri at the Hungarian GP, there is one valuable insight to be gained from the upcoming race.

It will provide a crucial comparison between Ricciardo and star performer Yuki Tsunoda.

It is likely that the better driver for the rest of the 2023 season will be in a prime position to line up next to Verstappen in 2025.