Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Yas Marina, 2023

Confident Ricciardo expects return to pre-Vegas form for AlphaTauri

Formula 1

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Daniel Ricciardo expects AlphaTauri’s poor form in the Las Vegas Grand Prix last weekend will not be repeated at this weekend’s season finale.

The team rapidly climbed the constructors’ championship table over the three events leading up to the penultimate round, taking five, six and five points respectively in Austin, Mexico and Interlagos.

However the team left Las Vegas empty-handed. Ricciardo finished 14th and team mate Yuki Tsunoda retired with a power unit problem in the closing stages.

Ricciardo said the team’s investigations indicate they had not mastered the set-up for F1’s first race in Las Vegas. “We did some analysis post-race, a little bit more today,” he said yesterday. “I think we know the fundamental reasons or things that we maybe got wrong.

“But it was tricky. Obviously, it’s a new track for everyone, it’s a street circuit. It was really the asphalt and the temperatures. I think that was obviously something that was a bit of a challenge, to get on top of it and to get the tyres working and in the right window. That’s ultimately where we struggled.

“So then, during the race, the race starts, the restarts, I felt like we were just sliding a little more than the others. And that put us on the back foot a lot.”

AlphaTauri’s upswing in form prior to the Las Vegas race, aided by a series of upgrades, lifted the team from last place in the championship to eighth. They will need to produce their best result of the season at this weekend’s final race to overhaul Williams, who lie seventh in the championship, seven points ahead of AlphaTauri.

But Ricciardo believes the team should be back to their best at the “more conventional” Yas Marina circuit.

“Again, hopefully that speed we showed in the triple-header can be put on display again, in a more standard circuit,” he said. “So I’m confident.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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One comment on “Confident Ricciardo expects return to pre-Vegas form for AlphaTauri”

  1. AlphaTauri should count themselves lucky that Williams didn’t capitalise on their impressive qualifying in Vegas. Seven points is a little high of a hurdle for Ricciardo & Tsunoda to get over, but we’ll see. If they manage to get a double point finish they might have an actual chance.

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