Ricciardo: “We are not the next Aston Martin, but we will grow”

Jaden Diaz

One of the drivers who was most looking forward to returning to action could only be Daniel Ricciardo. It was bittersweet 2023 for the Australian, who took over mid-season in place of Nyck de Vries.

However, his momentum was stalled after a wrist injury at Zandvoort’s.

On the morning of day 2 in Sakhir, Ricciardo expressed his confidence in the upcoming season. Still, he was pragmatic about where the VCARB 01 project currently is.

“The car is not a pink Mercedes. It’s not as friendly a car as the RB19. If it were, we would win this year,” explained the Australian.

He very diplomatically minimised the similarities between his 2024 car and the RB19. Beyond talk on this subject, Daniel Ricciardo expressed positive sensations after his first laps in the VCARB 01:

“The car is balanced. In terms of the chassis, I feel good. We need to find more load points,” he commented.

Ricciardo says the team will focus its energy on technical development and progression. They have a good starting foundation, but this does not guarantee early success:

“I don’t think we will be as big a surprise as Aston Martin last year

“We will improve as the season progresses. Initially, we hope to be in the top 10 area. But we are not yet at podium level.”

Ricciardo then underlined how the additions within the team will bring the desired results over time. Still, it is necessary that the right synergy is built first:

“Many people have changed within the team, and little by little, we will find the speed by working together.

“Laurent Mekies and Alan Permane are two new figures, but with a lot of experience.

“I have worked with both of them; I think that with the progress of the season, we will also improve in terms of results.”

For Daniel Ricciardo, 2024 represents a new chapter, both from a career and personal level. The Australian describes this new chapter very honestly.

“I have rediscovered the love for what I do. I do everything by myself, I feel an excellent balance again, I feel strong.”

In fact, Ricciardo explains how, after a very complicated two-year period, he has recovered his form. A new approach has allowed him to find the motivation that had gradually dissipated.

“2022 was a very difficult year. I had lost love and confidence, and I understood that it was time to change.

“It was something forced at contractual levels, but sometimes you need something to happen to make a change. When one door closes, another opens.”

The dawn of 2024, therefore, sees Daniel Ricciardo with a rediscovered smile.

Ricciardo enters the upcoming campaign with reasonable levels of confidence. He is aware that being part of a project with high levels of potential can allow him to perform at his best.

Author: Loris Preziosa

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang