FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo admits Las Vegas was ‘humiliating’ and ‘painful’ for AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo's season has been full of ups and downs, but for the Australian the Las Vegas Grand Prix was a weekend of struggles

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo was able to race in Las Vegas last weekend after returning to the sport, but the Australian admitted that the race along the strip was “humiliating”. 

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo driving the (3) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

2023 has been a rollercoaster season for Daniel Ricciardo. After being let go by McLaren, he re-joined Red Bull as a reserve driver for the team. But after Silverstone, the Red Bull and AlphaTauri family decided to let Nyck de Vries go.

As a result, Ricciardo was back in Formula 1. But his time in the AlphaTauri didn’t last long after he crashed at Zandvoort meaning he was unable to race due to injury. Ricciardo’s recovery took longer than anticipated and it was in Austin that he returned to racing.

Since the United States Grand Prix, Ricciardo’s highest finish was P7. Ricciardo finished in seventh at the Mexico City Grand Prix, where he scored six points. In Brazil, Ricciardo was unfortunate to be caught up in the opening lap chaos as a wheel from Alex Albon’s Williams flew off and hit the AlphaTauri.

However, it’s the most recent race in Las Vegas that Ricciardo feels was “humiliating”. During the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, Riccardo and Yuki Tsunoda both struggled with pace. In Qualifying, Tsunoda set a time only fast enough for P20. Ricciardo was able to make it through to Q2, but he qualified P15 for the Grand Prix.

Things for AlphaTauri went down hill from there as during the race, Tsunoda was forced to retire on lap 46. The Japanese driver did admit that the team had “gambled a little bit” on set-up and for him, it just “didn’t work in the end.”

For Ricciardo, due to Lance Stroll’s penalty, he started the race in P14, which is where he finished. But the Australian has shared his thoughts on the Las Vegas Grand Prix, admitting it wasn’t a good weekend.

Las Vegas was ‘painful’ and ‘humiliating’

Ricciardo spoke after the race, commenting on what he endured. He admitted that AlphaTauri lacked a lot of pace compared to competitors and it was the tyres that caused things to go wrong for the team.

As reported by Formula 1, Ricciardo said:

“I think we thought maybe we would have a bit more [pace]. I was definitely optimistic coming into the race; I knew where we had been suffering this weekend. It’s really just warm-up, getting the tyre working.

“I knew the start would be difficult but once everything kind of settled I felt like we would be able to get into a rhythm and show a little bit more pace. But it wasn’t the case.

“I think as well with all the restarts, we suffered so much more than the others with warm-up. I was getting overtaken on the outside of Turn 3. And the outside is really slippery and for them to have more grip, I was just like ‘oh man’.

“It was pretty humiliating. We honestly just couldn’t do anything.”

Ricciardo went on to say that AlphaTauri have some work to do now to figure out what the reasons were behind their struggles. He continued:

“On one hand we couldn’t do anything with what we had but obviously, we need to find out what the reasons are because that’s what held us back all weekend: one-lap pace and today in the long run.

“A bit of a painful weekend. I think it is certainly surface-specific, but we can’t neglect it.

“We have to obviously move on for Abu Dhabi, but we need to do some post-race research and analysis. We didn’t seem to have any answers for it so some work to do for when we come here next time.”

Looking ahead to the season finale

This coming weekend is the season finale of 2023 in Abu Dhabi. AlphaTauri are currently eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, only seven points away from Williams.

Looking ahead to Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo said he feels more confident going into the final race. Speaking after the Las Vegas Grand Prix, he said:

“We’re racing again next week at a medium downforce circuit, so I’m optimistic going into it. It’s a quick turnaround and a different story, so the next couple of days are about resting and recovering.”

Headline image:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top