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Ricciardo praises AlphaTauri’s ‘confidence’ after impressive qualifying result

It was the Australians best qualifying performance since the Belgian Grand Prix in 2021

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Daniel Ricciardo has praised the ‘confidence’ amongst the team at AlphaTauri as he secured the team’s best qualifying position of the season so far.

Ricciardo achieved AlphaTauri’s best qualifying result since Qatar 2021 (Credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images)

The Australian driver will start the race from p4, ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Having just recovered from a broken hand, it was a very impressive result for Ricciardo.

“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,” said Ricciardo, speaking to Malaymail.

“There were some things also with setup that we knew we could try this weekend, having a more conventional weekend.

“From lap one yesterday (in FP1) I felt really confident. 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.”

This will just be Ricciardo’s fourth race start of the season and by far his best chance of getting his first points of 2023.

During both Q1 and Q2, AlphaTauri used Yuki Tsunoda as a way of providing Ricciardo with a tow, making it easier for him to advance in qualifying.

The Japanese driver has an engine penalty meaning he will start from the back of the grid, so using him to help his teammate was a good strategy call from the team.

‘Today wasn’t a fluke’

Qualifying ahead of one of the Red Bull cars is never expected at AlphaTauri, but it is what happened in Mexico.

Perez will start his home race one place behind Ricciardo, which is something the Australian is certain is no fluke.

The eight-time race winner knows holding onto P4 will be hard, but not impossible.

“(It 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,” continued Ricciardo.

“I think there was definitely a positive chip on my shoulder as well,

“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.”

It has been difficult to make an impact at AlphaTauri this year for Ricciardo, having sustained his broken hand in just his third weekend back in Zandvoort.

Despite this though, Ricciardo insists that he is now ready to compete, even if his hand isn’t “ready for the boxing ring yet.”

Featured Image Credit: @F1 via X

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