Daniel Ricciardo has claimed that he is ready to 'come out swinging' during the 2024 Formula 1 season, admitting that his lack of races compared to the rest of the grid will give him an edge over the other drivers.
Ricciardo will line up alongside Yuki Tsunoda for AlphaTauri as their driver pairing for next year, despite rumours emerging that the Australian may have been in contention to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull.
Having been parachuted in mid-season to replace Nyck de Vries, it is safe to say the 34-year-old has had arguably his most disjointed in the sport to date.
He would go on to miss five races owing to a broken bone in his left hand, allowing Liam Lawson to shine for Red Bull's sister team during his brief spell with them.
In total this meant that Ricciardo only took part in seven of the 22 grands prix during the 2023 season.
And the Honey Badger is now eager to put the energy that he has saved up over the course of the year to good use during the off-season and steal a march on the competition.
Ricciardo ready for 2024 fight
“Normally, at this point in the year I’m so over it, and all I can think about is going home to Australia,” said Ricciardo (via Speedcafe).
“Obviously, we don’t race anymore [after Abu Dhabi]. That’s fine. I’ll just use this extra energy I have, and others don’t, to start my pre-season early, get a little bit of a head start on everyone, and come out swinging next year.”
“There are definitely some things we found in the car as the season went on," he added.
“We brought an update here [Abu Dhabi] and I think it was positive. I feel like we’re going in the right direction.
“Everything I fed back to the team, I feel like they’ve actioned or done their best to make happen or make it work. I can’t ask for too much more at the moment.
“It’s obviously now just how quickly can we get new parts on the car. I don’t want to sound patronising but their heads are in the right place, we’re meeting in the right place, and we’re looking ahead.
“They value the experience, and that’s really important moving forward, and they’re motivated.
“I feel like this is not a junior team anymore, and with a lot of plans for next year, hopefully, we can prove that on track and get more points as we did in the last few races.”
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