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Ricciardo reveals Alonso chat to allay F1 fears

The Australian returned to the grid in Hungary having sat out the 10 races of the season.

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed how a chat with Fernando Alonso allayed his fears over taking a break from racing in Formula 1. The Australian replaced the under-performing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri for the rest of the season ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix having fallen off the grid after a poor two-year spell with McLaren ended with him losing his seat to Oscar Piastri for 2023.



He qualified and finished 13th, having suffered damage at the first turn when rammed from behind by Zhou Guanyu. The eight-time Grand Prix winner felt “energised” after his return – and detailed a conversation with Aston Martin’s Alonso who left F1 at the end of 2018 having grown disillusioned with Grand Prix racing.
Alonso would return in 2021 having raced in the World Endurance Championship, the Indy 500 and Dakar Rally during his time away.



Ricciardo and Alonso
“I really feel that just having this half a year off, even if it wasn’t the full year I expected, certainly made me reset myself and I feel energised again,” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365. “I remember having a conversation with Fernando maybe two years ago now, [but] I wasn’t thinking of taking a break.
“We were just having a chat, I think on a flight somewhere, and he said the break for him was one of the best things he ever did.



“That kind of got me thinking maybe if I ever feel I need it, not to be too scared of it, then seeing the year he’s had, that also filled me with some confidence.” Ricciardo – who beat new teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the race – also described his emotions at returning to the grid and how he found a balance in the run-up to the race start. “For sure there’s nerves, there’s excitement, there’s lots of these things, but sometimes we probably forget to remind ourselves to take it in and just smile at the moment,” he explained. “I was just trying to enjoy and of course, you still make sure you stay focused but just enjoy it.”

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