Ricciardo shares impact of hand injury on ‘rusty’ F1 return

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Daniel Ricciardo is not feeling any effects of his hand injury on
his return to at the United States Grand Prix – but did
admit to feeling “rusty.” The AlphaTauri driver has been on the
sidelines since the Dutch Grand Prix, where a practice crash broke
the metacarpal in his left hand, with Liam Lawson deputising. After
the layoff of five Grands Prix, the eight-time race winner returned
to action at the Circuit of the Americas, and qualified 15th for
the main race, but improved to 11th for the Sprint Shootout. In the
Sprint itself, Ricciardo was battling Esteban Ocon's Alpine in the
closing laps over 11th place, coming home within a second of his
former team-mate, and beat current one Yuki Tsunoda 4.224s.
Reflecting on his comeback, Ricciardo admitted that his race
sharpness was understandably lacking. Ricciardo's return “I feel
like I gave it the right amount of time to come back and feel
confident with it, so the hand has not affected me this weekend.
“[The Sprint] was better and I hate saying this because I am very
experienced, but this year I am not very experienced, and there was
a little big of rust. “Like there were a few decisions on track
where I was like: ‘Oh, I should know better' but it is learning for
the [Grand Prix]. “It was nice to be back out there and I think I
made a really good step from qualifying to the [Sprint Shootout].
“I apologised for another P11 because the kind of joke within the
team is that someone is always qualifying P11. “Q3 is obviously the
target for us, normally it is quite a big achievement, we always
seem to be a little short, but was pretty happy with the lap [in
qualifying].”

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