Daniel Ricciardo talks through the highs of F1 Mexico GP after a solid result, as Christian Horner saw the old Australian back in the game.
Having had a low-key return to F1 before the summer break, AlphaTauri’s Ricciardo was sidelined due to an injury and made another return in Austin. That race was not so happening but last weekend’s Mexico GP was something else.
He was on pace all-through practice and qualified well in fourth. In the grand prix as well, he ran well in the Top 5 until the red flag which brought the likes of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ George Russell back in the game to fight him.
He eventually lost to both of them but a seventh place result was enough to help AlphaTauri jump to eighth with 16 points which is same as Alfa Romeo. Ricciardo was quite pleased with the outcome so late in the season as he showed he can still do it too.
“I was honestly trying as much as I could,” said Ricciardo. “It was a little weird. At the start of the stint. I didn’t feel as good as towards the end. I felt like it took me a little bit to get a rhythm with a tyre and then yeah, the last probably 10 laps, I was able to start really pushing harder. Lando getting George probably hurt George’s tyres a little bit.
“So that brought him back to me. And it was it was tough. I probably didn’t expect to get that close. But when you’re that close, it’s you’re like, ‘Oh, we could have’, he protected. Well, in Turn 4 one point, I was trying to go on the outside, but I could see we’re both probably going to run off and yeah, had to abort mission.
“And he did well, he did well to defend. So we tried but ultimately just to be battling the Mercedes at the end that makes me more happy than just missing out on the sixth. I think after last week, Yuki got five points. And it was huge, huge for the team. Everyone was cartwheeling, and backflipping. So a week later to go to do six points. Very happy,” summed up Ricciardo.
While the result is appreciated, Ricciardo felt there was pace to finish better than seventh. He caught up with Russell a bit late but he was surprised with Norris’ pace as the Australian was managing to hold back Oscar Piastri after the re-start.
“I don’t know if Lando is pace in that second half of the race was as good as the first half,” said Ricciardo. “Because that was he was very quick. But yeah, we were let’s say holding Oscar at bay. We had gaps too, like it felt like we were at least at that moment. I was like this could be a nice lonely fifth place. And I was I was okay with that.
“So I definitely think we could have been better than seventh lets say that without the red flag, that’s racing. On one hand, you could say unlucky but still, you know, can always be worse. And you know, the restart. We could have had a crash or something. So still to come through. I’m happy,” summed up Ricciardo.
Amid hot rumours that continue to swirl around Red Bull and Sergio Perez, team boss Horner was all praise for Ricciardo while noting that the ‘old Australian’ was back as he saw. “It’s great to see Daniel performing so well and it fully endorses the reason why we brought him back into AlphaTauri just prior to the summer break,” he said.
“I thought he was outstanding this weekend fighting a Mercedes in an AlphaTauri. Had it not been for the red flag, he would have probably finished further up. A great performance from him and certainly, it looked like the Daniel of old. And look at the delta to Max as well in qualifying. It was less than a tenth to Max. A remarkable achievement.”
Here’s Lando Norris on Daniel Ricciardo fight
Here’s Christian Horner on Sergio Perez situation
Here’s how F1 Mexico GP panned out
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