AlphaTauri duo pleased with FP performance, Ricciardo “felt pretty familiar” with everything

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Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo had decent first day back in the car as a racing driver. The 8-time Grand Prix winner, who replaced Nyck de Vries, said everything “felt pretty familiar” and that it was “like he never really left”. He ended FP2 in 14th place, while his teammate Tsunoda ended up in fourth, more than four tenths away. This wasn’t too much of a concern for Ricciardo ,who’s day primarily consisted of getting back into the groove.

“I think positions are probably not too relevant at the moment. But I think it was more for me today to feel basically where I am with the car. It all felt pretty familiar.

“I think obviously there is a lot of outside attention, but once I put the helmet on and got in the car, it all felt like I never really left. That was nice. Obviously, this morning we didn’t really get anything, but this afternoon… just a little bit on the new tyre.

“But nothing really I’m concerned about. The car felt okay. To be honest it doesn’t feel too bad. Bit of work tonight but nothing crazy.”

The ever-smiling Australian was asked whether the audience could expect more from him this weekend, and replied positively.

“For sure. I think a bit more out of me, and for sure there is somethings already I feel in the car that we can try and work on.

“Right now, I’m quite optimistic. It looked like Yuki as well had a pretty good [day]. I think if we put all these things together maybe tomorrow, we can do okay.”

The Japanese teammate of Ricciardo agreed, saying: “So far, it’s been a pretty good practice.”

“We’ve been top four, which hasn’t happened this season. So far, it’s good. Balance is also… pretty happy with it.

“Long run, so far, from what I heard from the engineer is pretty okay, and balance felt quite consistent. A couple of teams they didn’t show their true performance, so I couldn’t say we’re in a really good position. But, so far pretty happy with it.”

Obviously Tsunoda was asked whether he could learn from his more experienced colleague, to which he replied:

“Definitely. He’s an eight-time race winner, so I can learn a lot of things from him. In FP1, I can see straight away his confidence. Definitely I can learn lots of things and see how it goes.”