"Signs pointing to a return," says Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo says that the signs are pointing to a return to the F1 grid as he admits that he is not "chomping at the bit" to get back into the cockpit.

The sight of Daniel Ricciardo sporting his Red Bull uniform and sitting on the pit-wall is still hard to come to terms with. Not so much because he has returned to the team he chose to leave in order to try and establish himself elsewhere, free of the Verstappen 'shadow', but rather the awkwardness of him appearing to be the proverbial spare at a wedding.

Despite the fact that he is merely there for promotional purposes, the smile is as wide as ever and he appears to be enjoying himself, even if he'll be watching from the sidelines on Sunday like the rest of us.

"I've actually weirdly found that the days that I've had no schedule, they're the days that I've actually done training," he told reporters. "It's not being my own boss but kind of writing my own schedule has actually brought out a lot of things in me.

"I thought I'll just sit on the couch and watch movies all day and eat junk food," he admitted, "but I'm not. That's not me. So even these things made me realise how much I do care about it.

"The signs are pointing towards getting back on the grid," he added. "I feel like that's currently where I'm tracking, at least in my head, and just a little few other habits that I'm having or doing is pointed towards that."

Asked how it feels to be back in the paddock, albeit as an observer as opposed to participant, he said: "The fizz is there. I'm also content being here this weekend and not racing. I'm content just being part of the team.

"I'm kind of in a position now, I'm happy to learn from the outside because I think I will see more. I feel like I still need a bit of this time to understand a little more, with the perspective I've got to kind of complete me as a driver moving forward. So I'm not yet chomping at the bit to get in the car but it does feel good to be here.

"I'm going to sit on the pit wall during the sessions and I'm sure I'll be like watching the drivers pull out of the pits and be like 'oh, it would be cool to be in the car'," he admitted. "But I'm not yet foaming at the mouth. I'm still just trying to be a sponge.

"I see the advantage, of course; every driver on the grid now has the advantage of being behind the wheel. But I have the advantage of looking at it through a wide-angle lens."

In all honesty, it's his admission that he is not "chomping at the bit" that raises concern over his true commitment to returning. He's a wealthy man and certainly doesn't need the money.

Asked yesterday about the enforced break due to the failure to find a replacement following the cancelation of the Chinese Grand Prix, most of the drivers have plans, whereas Fernando Alonso wished there was no break and that he could continue racing.

There's a man that is "chomping at the bit" to be in the car, and it's something that the fans and team bosses appreciate.

Check out our Friday gallery from Melbourne here.

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Published: 31/03/2023
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