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ricciardo mexico

Ricciardo: Qualifying P4 was no fluke

ricciardo mexico

Daniel Ricciardo secured AlphaTauri’s best grid position of the Formula 1 season and said his P4 in Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying, sandwiched between the two Red Bull drivers, was no fluke.

The Australian broke his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix in August and missed five races before returning in Austin, Texas, last weekend, where he finished 15th.

“Already Sunday night in Austin I was just wanting it to be Friday practice, I wanted to get back in the car and it felt like there were some things left on the table.

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“There were some things also with setup that we knew we could try this weekend, having a more conventional weekend” said Ricciardo, who starts ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – the driver he hopes eventually to replace.

The United States Grand Prix in Austin ran a sprint format with just one practice session and a standalone 100km race on Saturday.

Daniel: P4 is maybe a little more than we thought

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“From lap one in practice I felt really confident,” said Ricciardo: “P4 is maybe a little more than we thought. Coming into quali it wasn’t about getting Q3 it was how far can we get inside. As a team we definitely had confidence.”

Ricciardo has made only three race starts since he launched his comeback after leaving McLaren last year by mutual agreement.

He said holding on to fourth in the race would be “awesome and crazy, but I don’t know if I should use the word ‘crazy’, because I think today wasn’t a fluke.”

“I think there was definitely a positive chip on my shoulder as well,” he added. “I know I haven’t done much this year race-wise, but I feel a lot like my old self and I feel like I can do well.”

He said the hand was mended, although he was “not ready for a boxing ring yet”.

Ricciardo’s Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who provided useful aerodynamic tows in the first two phases of Saturday’s qualifying, will start the race from the back at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez after power unit penalties. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)