Early F1 return can ‘springboard’ rest of 2023 – Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo believes his early return to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri can be used as a “springboard” after the summer break.

The eight-time Grand Prix winner returned to the grid before the summer break to replace Nyck de Vries, earning 13th and 16th place finishes in Hungary and Belgium, respectively.

Drivers are usually swapped during the summer break when in-season changes are made, but Ricciardo feels that the extra two races before the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort at the end of August could prove helpful during his loan spell from Red Bull.

Ricciardo’s springboard

“When I got the call-up, in my head, I was like: ‘Okay, I thought they would probably just wait for the summer break,'” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.

“But I am actually really glad that I got these two races before the break because it gives me something to certainly think about, build on, and to throw some questions back at the team.

“We are going to get to Zandvoort much better prepared than if that was my first race, so it gives us a springboard into the second half of the season.

“For me personally, I know where my fitness is at, so I can work on that during the summer break.

“While everyone is sipping Pina Coladas, I’ll be in the gym.

“[Everyone else] will be doing much more partying than me, especially Pierre Gasly after his podium [in the Sprint], but I’ll be in the gym and having much less alcohol than everyone else!”

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