Daniel Ricciardo’s eager return to the United States Grand Prix after injury hiatus

Daniel Ricciardo (motorsportweek.com)

The Australian driver expresses frustration at being sidelined and anticipates his comeback at Circuit of the Americas

Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to his return at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, having been absent from the previous five rounds. Ricciardo, who replaced Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri only 10 races into the year, sustained a hand injury in a practice crash at Zandvoort in August, which led to his hiatus. He underwent simulator testing before the Qatar Grand Prix but chose to delay his return by one race weekend to ensure his injury healed properly.

Ricciardo expressed his eagerness to get back behind the wheel of the AT04 at the Circuit of the Americas, which marks the beginning of three consecutive F1 race weekends. Despite watching from the sidelines, he maintained his overall fitness by training as much as possible, even though he couldn’t use his injured left hand or arm. Ricciardo noted the frustration of being ready to race and then having to pause, but he found the time without racing passed quickly.

AlphaTauri introduced several updates to their car during Ricciardo’s absence, including a significant Red Bull-inspired upgrade in Singapore. The driver, who remained engaged through technical debriefs and simulator sessions, explained that the car has evolved since he last drove it. He looks forward to experiencing the full effect of the changes and updates once back on the track.

Ricciardo expressed his enthusiasm for the unique challenges of the Circuit of the Americas, praising its undulations and physicality. He enjoys the peculiar corners and wide apexes of the circuit, making it an exceptional and standout track in modern-day racing.