Abu Dhabi, November 30


fter finishing 11th in Abu Dhabi, Daniel Ricciardo was upset not to contribute points to AlphaTauri's bid for P7 in the championship, but he has already set his sights on striking the ground running in 2024.

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Ricciardo was eliminated in Q2 of Saturday's qualifying and started 15th. While he maintained that position in the early laps, he was forced to pit after a tear-off became lodged in his front brake ducts.

He pitted on Lap 7 and changed to hards, which put him on the back foot for the last lap as cars with fresher tyres, including as Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll, overtook him, before crossing the finish in 11th place.

The Australian result, along with Yuki Tsunoda's P8, means AlphaTauri only scored four points in Abu Dhabi. As a result, they fell three points shy of passing Williams for seventh place in the championship.

"It wasn't a bad race in terms of pace, it's just hard as soon as you get some dirty air. I felt like if I was in my own race, I had decent pace but then obviously it's a race, so you don't always have the track to yourself," Ricciardo said as quoted by Formula 1.

"When we had the track to ourselves, I felt like we were doing okay. I felt like Mexico, Brazil Sprint, and today, one more lap we could have got a few more points. Obviously, it was close but no cigar. Obviously, yesterday put us on the backfoot starting so far back, so we had a look over it last night. I think we understood a few things but there is still a bit more that I think we need to dig into," he added.

"We are testing here in a few days so maybe we can explore a few things in the car. It was close, obviously close with Williams, but we didn't quite get it. Yuki got a few points, but we needed a few more. Would have been nice if I contributed but, starting the 15th, it was unfortunately a tough one. But, anyway, part of me is happy to go on a break to kind of prepare for a full season, but I would also like to continue racing," Ricciardo said.

Reflecting on a year in which he debuted for the team in Hungary, and broke his hand in Zandvoort, before returning in Austin, Ricciardo said, "Yeah, I think as experienced as I am you can't underestimate a pre-season and kind of hitting the ground running, I guess."

"Still a bit to explore on one lap pace but once we settled into race rhythms, I was pretty happy with the feeling of the car and the understanding of it. Pierre [Hamelin], my engineer - well many drivers' engineers this year - I know it was a crazy season for him as well. So, probably to have a more stable 2024 will also help us as a kind of team and group and help the dynamic moving forward. I'm sure he will be a bit relieved to have a bit of a break this year," he added.

Exciting to have proper off-season now: Daniel Ricciardo sets sights on positive 2024

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