Daniel Ricciardo believes F1’s latest triple-header will play a key role in helping him return to full race fitness.
The Australian returned for AlphaTauri at the United States Grand Prix having missed five races whilst recovering from a broken metacarpal in his left hand, sustained in an innocuous practice crash at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Ricciardo initially aimed to return at the Qatar Grand Prix before erring on the side of caution and was well substituted by Liam Lawson, who has since returned to his reserve role.
Whilst no points were scored at the Circuit of the Americas, Ricciardo was on pace and with another two races following in succession in Mexico and Brazil, he was asked how much the packed shceuld could help with his recovery.
“A lot,” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.com.
“Most of our day was misfortune [in the US GP] and for sure, there’s still some things to work on from the team side but also from me.
“Even the first stint, the timing of the stop wasn’t great but I always hold myself accountable: could I have read that a little better? Should I have tried to be more proactive?
“I definitely did make it aware that I was probably going to lose time in traffic, I’ll always be a little bit critical of myself so for sure, some things that we can do better.
“So I am glad we don’t have too much of a break and also, for my race fitness, to keep smashing out now is good.”
Race rust gone
After Saturday’s Sprint, Ricciardo conceded he suffered from race rust, which extended to operations as well as on-track ability.
Asked whether he had shaken that off by the end of the Grand Prix, the Australian replied: “Definitely.
“I think at times we lacked communication but especially once I got damage, nothing really felt that constructive to give back because we were working with a sub-optimal car.
“So maybe the only thing I would maybe question is, as we started getting blue flags, maybe I should have asked a few more questions.”