Ricciardo ‘in the zone’ in Vegas, as AlphaTauri chases Williams


In a city where every corner seems to beckon with excitement, Daniel Ricciardo says he’ll steer clear of Las Vegas’ many distractions this weekend and maintain an unwavering focus on his primary goal: racing.

The Australian driver and his AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda succeeded in hauling their outfit up the pecking order in recent events and closing in on seventh-place team Williams in F1’s Constructors’ standings with just two rounds to go.

With just seven points separating the two outfits, and with Vegas' unknowns leveling the playing field, an opportunity for big points could come knocking for the sister Red Bull team.

Ricciardo is no stranger to Las Vegas, having visited the City of Lights many times in the past during F1’s summer breaks.

“It’s a fun place. I’ve always just been there for leisure really, like during summer breaks with my Australian friends, so it’ll be interesting to go there with a slightly different mindset,” he said ahead of this weekend’s racing extravaganza.

“It’s such a surreal city, especially at night with all the lights. I think it will feel like we are racing on a movie set, so that'll be cool.”

Las Vegas may be a city that never sleeps, but for F1’s drivers, the adrenaline-fueled focus on the track must eclipse the distractions that surround them.

Maintaining a strict routine, both mentally and physically, becomes paramount. Adequate rest, focused pre-race preparation, and a commitment to the strategic nuances of the race are non-negotiable elements for success.

"There’s going to be a lot going on apart from the track action, so I aim to stay in the zone and block out the distractions,” Ricciardo explained.


It’s the balance of obviously trying to promote the weekend, promote the race and also enjoy some of the extracurricular things.

“The bottom line is I’m there to race, and that’s the thing I need to prioritise and focus on. Especially now we’ve closed the gap to Williams, getting points is so crucial and critical. I would say it’s a very simple approach.

“Rest when I can rest, and then when I need to be on it, I’ll just focus and put my energy into that. If there’s a little bit of downtime, I’ll try not to keep my mind too occupied."

Like his colleagues, Ricciardo has done his homework regarding Las Vegas’ layout, it track that presents “quite a unique set of challenges” according to the Aussie.

“From what I’ve learned on the sim, it’s a really challenging track because there’s a lot of long straights and then these short 90-degree corners with a lot of turning and braking,” he said.

“The layout’s definitely interesting. I hope it provides good racing. I think the long straights definitely give it some opportunities, and because it’s also tight and twisty in some places, it'll present quite a unique set of challenges.”

Unsurprisingly, Ricciardo singled out tyre temperatures as a main concern given the chilly evening conditions that are set to prevail.

“We know it’s going to be cold,” he added. “I think getting the tyres working and the car to produce enough grip with downforce will be a big key to getting some lap time out of it.

“It could feel like Baku the first year when it was low-grip, which was interesting, as you had to push really hard on the out-lap to get the tyres going."

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