Ricciardo ‘very, very hungry’ with new F1 contract
By Mat Coch
Saturday 30th September, 2023 - 5:00am
Daniel Ricciardo is “very, very hungry” now he has his immediate future in F1 locked away.
The Australian was last weekend confirmed at Scuderia AlphaTauri for the 2024 season, where he’ll race alongside Yuki Tsunoda.
It comes after Ricciardo made a mid-season return to the grid in place of Nyck de Vries after two tumultuous years with McLaren.
“Very excited to be with a contract on the grid for next year,” Ricciardo said.
“This time a year ago, I was honestly unsure about really just what I wanted. I wasn’t sure.
“Obviously, I’d never thought about… My whole life has been racing and I’ve put everything into it, so you’re not really sure, okay, when is that time going to come where ‘maybe is it time for a change?’
“I was definitely questioning ‘oh, am I going to have those feelings’ that, this is it.”
Following his McLaren exit, Ricciardo returned to Australia where he spent time with family and friends.
It was during that period that the first indications that he wanted a return began to manifest and he found himself training rather than sitting on the couch.
“The first part of this year, I learned a lot about myself, and I think what I want and how I want to go about my career moving forward,” he explained.
“It really reignited me and gave me that second wind that I was hoping for – but wasn’t forcing.
“So now that I’ve got that and have something confirmed for next year, I’m a very, very hungry young man again.”
Ricciardo’s signing with Scuderia AlphaTauri is a signal of intent, with the Australian having made no secret of his desire to reclaim a spot in the Red Bull senior team alongside Max Verstappen.
To do that, his task in 2024 is to out-perform Tsunoda and prove he is the safer bet as Perez is out of contract at the end of next season.
Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Liam Lawson, who has impressed while substituting for Ricciardo, who continues to recover from a broken hand sustained during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.
Ricciardo is expected to return for the United States Grand Prix, though could be back in action as soon as next weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix.