Daniel Ricciardo wants to continue learning the AlphaTauri car and finding his way back into form as the final two races of the season approach.
Ricciardo has experienced two comebacks this year, first back into F1 with the AlphaTauri drive after his divorce from McLaren and then again when he returned from injury.
But with two races left to go in the weirdest season of Ricciardo’s career, he does now have a target he hopes to achieve come the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.
Daniel Ricciardo aiming for more familiarity in AlphaTauri car
Ricciardo has almost been allowed to drive without expectation on his return to Formula 1 with Nyck de Vries setting the bar pretty low and the Australian was given a contract extension even as he recovered from his hand injury.
But now back to full fitness, Ricciardo was asked in Vegas what he hopes to achieve in the last two events of the year.
“Pole position,” he joked. “I’m still missing those couple of tenths!
“I’ve been really happy with the short amount of time we’ve had. I think it hasn’t always shown on paper but even last week [in Sao Paulo] because as painful as it was starting a race essentially a lap down, I think we still showed really good signs of speed and understanding of the car in progress and I’m feeling more and more comfortable.
“So I’m quickly ticking a lot of boxes I wanted and really now it’s to continue that feeling and continue kind of just finding a little bit more out of setup because I think we found quite a bit since Mexico.
“So if we could maybe still find another tenth or two, that would be cool.”
But from a team perspective, Ricciardo wants to help close the seven-point gap from AlphaTauri to P7 Williams.
“We have a sniff of seventh in Constructors’ [so] try to do everything I can to help contribute.
“I mean looking at the long straights here [in Vegas], you look at Williams and it could be strong for them but I think we’ve got a chance so I’m going to try and make it happen.
“I think if we could get seventh, I think no one really thought that was going to happen pre-Austin so that would feel like a bit of a victory for us.”