Ricciardo 'confident' AlphaTauri can return to their best in Abu Dhabi amid fight for P7 with Williams
Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda are hopeful that AlphaTauri can return to their points scoring best at the season finale in Abu Dhabi as they look to beat rivals Williams for seventh in the championship.
AlphaTauri had shown improved form upon Ricciardo’s return from injury in Austin back in October, scoring three points finishes in a row – with Tsunoda finishing eighth at the US GP and ninth in Brazil while Ricciardo wound up seventh in Mexico.
But that streak came to an end in Las Vegas last time out with Ricciardo starting and ending the race in 14th, while Tsunoda lined up at the back of the field before retiring his car late on in the event.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's action in Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo gave an explanation as to why they suffered a dip in performance. He joked: “We took the weekend very serious, there was no extracurricular reasons why we didn’t perform.
He later continued: “We missed a little bit... But now we did some analysis post-race, a little bit more today we went through, and I think we know the fundamental reasons and things that we maybe got wrong. But it was tricky, it’s a new track for everyone, it’s a street circuit.
“It’s really the asphalt and the temperatures I think that were obviously something that was a bit of a challenge to kind of get on top off, and get the tyres working and in the right window, and that’s ultimately where we struggled.
“So then during the race, the race start, the restart, I felt like we were just sliding a little bit more than the others, and that put us on the back foot a lot.”
Asked if he fancies AlphaTauri’s chances at the Yas Marina Circuit, Ricciardo replied: “One does. I think it’s more conventional again.
“I think it’s, as you say, hopefully that speed we showed in the triple header can be put on display at I would say a more standard circuit, so I’m confident.”
Tsunoda was also previewing the weekend’s action and he revealed that in their attempts to close the seven-point gap to Williams in their battle for P7 in the constructors’ standings, AlphaTauri have brought a few new parts.
“We are bringing upgrades again I think,” said Tsunoda. “So, hope that gives us extra performance and to fight in the top eight, I would say to outscore the Williams and to be in P7. [It] won’t be easy but our aim for sure will be P7 in the team championship.
“It’s not easy actually, it’s seven points, so it’s not small but if we are able to show the performance like we did in Brazil and Mexico it’s not impossible, so let’s see how it goes.”