Daniel Ricciardo’s ordeal began at the Dutch Grand Prix when he crashed during the second practice session, resulting in a broken hand. It was a setback that threatened to keep him out of the action for two months. However, the determined driver made a swift return at the United States Grand Prix.
Although his comeback was remarkable, Ricciardo’s performance at the United States Grand Prix left much to be desired, finishing down in 15th place. Surprisingly, his hand wasn’t the culprit; it was damage to the front end of his AlphaTauri that hindered his performance.
After four days of well-deserved rest, Ricciardo is back in action, ready to tackle the Mexican Grand Prix. This event marks the second race in Formula 1’s final triple-header for the season.
When asked about his hand’s condition, Ricciardo stated, “Fortunately, the pinky, I don’t use too much. I watched some onboard from the weekend, and I’m even lifting the pinky in some corners. You can kind of get away with pushing the wheel, so it’s not too bad.” He elaborated that the issue lay more in his wrist strength, which had waned due to his injury. Despite this, he was quick to emphasize, “Nothing actually cramped up, nothing stopped me.”
Ricciardo was clear that his hand wouldn’t be an excuse for any subpar performances in Austin or Mexico, adding, “There were no excuses last weekend, but before this weekend, it’s not even an issue anymore.”
Looking forward to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico, Ricciardo expressed his aim to score his first points for AlphaTauri. He exuded optimism, saying, “I’m positive we could be aiming for points in the remaining races, starting this weekend in Mexico.”
He further described the unique challenges presented by the track: “The grip here is so low because of the altitude, and it’s normally a track where you’re never going to have a perfect car. It’s never going to feel grippy and awesome, so you’ve really just got to make do with what it is and navigate that with some patience.”
Ricciardo appreciated the uniqueness of the venue and the circuit, likening it to Austin. He acknowledged that getting it right around the circuit could make a significant difference, especially in the tricky sections where handling the kerbs was a crucial aspect. In his words, “If you take too much, it can kill your lap time, and if you don’t take enough, then you leave time on the table, so that section is really tricky. Even though it’s low-speed in third gear, it’s really quite hard to get right, lap after lap.”