Recovering Ricciardo says hand feels ‘really comfortable’ in the car as he targets Q3 and points in Mexico
Daniel Ricciardo has told the media that he feels practically back to normal in the cockpit, following the hand bone break at the Dutch Grand Prix that sidelined the Australian for five Grands Prix.
Riccardo was in just the third race weekend of his comeback with AlphaTauri at Zandvoort when he crashed on the Turn 3 banking while avoiding compatriot Oscar Piastri and broke a metacarpal in his left hand.
Sidelined while Liam Lawson took his place, Ricciardo returned last weekend at the United States Grand Prix – with the Australian saying he’d felt no ill-effects from the hand injury in the 56-lap encounter.
“The hand’s good!” said Ricciardo, speaking on Thursday ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix. “In the car, it was good… There are some things which still don’t feel completely normal when I do little bits and pieces here and there, but gripping the wheel and the driving is probably the thing I feel really comfortable doing at the moment – so fortunately that’s good!
“So I felt fine really,” he added. “I had to do [the race in Austin] to know how it felt, but I quickly gained some confidence through the weekend.”
Although on paper his run to 15th out of 15 in Austin looked disappointing, Ricciardo was taking the positives after damage was discovered on his AlphaTauri AT04, as he looked ahead to the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
“I think the weekend as a whole [in Austin], let’s say behind the scenes, was actually not a bad weekend,” he said. “I think on paper it didn’t look so good but we found what the issue was during the race shortly after the first pit stop, and let’s say the reason why we fell away from the race with some damage.
“Up until that point, I think we were there, we were competitive and it’s – let’s say, not a bad place to start. And this weekend, just get on with it: Q3, points!”
Meanwhile, Ricciardo went on to reference his infamous phrase after taking pole for the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix when asked what his aims were for this weekend.
“Well I’d love to trip major nut**** but yeah, I don’t know,” laughed Ricciardo. “What result would it mean to trip major nut****? I don’t know – time well tell. We can’t force these things – if it happens, it happens!”
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