Team representatives from Alpine, McLaren, and AlphaTauri shared their insights ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. First up was Franz Tost from AlphaTauri, who discussed the return of Daniel Ricciardo to the team. Tost expressed his delight at Ricciardo‘s comeback, stating, “We had a very emotional comeback for him. It was nice to see him once more in our team.” Tost also commented on Ricciardo‘s personal growth, noting that he is now more matured. He emphasized the positive relationship that Ricciardo has always had with the team and expressed his happiness to have him back.
Tost also addressed Yuki Tsunoda‘s reaction to having a new teammate. He acknowledged that Tsunoda had a good relationship with Pierre Gasly and Nyck De Vries but believed there would be no friction between him and Ricciardo. Tost stated, “Both of them want to be fastest, yes? That’s usual in Formula 1, and we will see how this interesting game will end.”
The discussion then shifted to Nyck De Vries and why his performances in the first ten races were not up to par. Tost explained that being a rookie in Formula 1 is challenging, especially in the first half of the season when they race on unfamiliar tracks. He also mentioned that the team’s car was not competitive, which added to the difficulty. Tost expected better performances from De Vries in Austria and Silverstone, but when they didn’t materialize, the decision was made to replace him with Ricciardo. Tost expressed hope that Ricciardo‘s experience would help improve the car’s performance.
When asked about the team’s expectations for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Tost mentioned they had introduced upgrades to the car and hoped at least one car would make it to Qualifying 3. He emphasized that lap times would be decisive, but he was optimistic about the upgrades’ potential.
Moving on to McLaren, Andrea Stella reflected on the team’s strong performance at Silverstone, where they scored 30 points. Stella acknowledged the significance of the result, stating, “It’s important for McLaren. It’s important for the people that work very hard to develop and deliver these upgrades, and for our fans that finally could cheer a good result and a McLaren on the podium.” However, Stella emphasized that the team’s focus remained on continuous improvement and delivering regular results rather than getting complacent.
Stella addressed the changes made to the technical team in recent months, saying that the improvements had accelerated the car’s development, enabling their recent performance leap. He stated, “An important change which has – kind of – enabled the talent that was already available at McLaren.”
Regarding the team’s expectations for the Hungaroring, Stella noted that the Silverstone race had some specific conditions that may not be present in Hungary. He acknowledged the track layout and the anticipated hot weather on Sunday. Stella stated, “We will be happy with being a solid contender for points, which already means that you are in condition to fight Aston Martin, Ferrari, Mercedes, leaving Red Bull alone.”
Stella then discussed the disappointment faced by Oscar Piastri, who narrowly missed out on his first podium finish at Silverstone. He shared the team’s understanding of Piastri‘s frustrations, stating, “He definitely deserved to be on the podium. And it was just for the unfortunate timing of the Safety Car that he couldn’t achieve it.” Stella acknowledged Piastri‘s consistent progress and expressed confidence in his trajectory.
Lastly, Stella was asked about how Oscar Piastri‘s side of the garage has been affected by the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo. Stella explained that the team continued to work together using their best practices and attention to detail. He highlighted the importance of learning from each other in engineering and praised Piastri‘s ability to capitalize on his strong and consistent performance.
The team representatives shared their insights and expectations for the Hungarian Grand Prix, highlighting the return of Ricciardo to AlphaTauri and McLaren‘s recent strong performance. As the race weekend unfolds, fans will eagerly await the results and see how the teams fare on the challenging Hungaroring circuit.