Daniel Ricciardo has admitted for first time that he’ll not be on Formula 1 grid in 2023, following his end-of-season departure from McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo : Retirement 2022 | F1 Grid in 2023
Ricciardo has intimated that it’s now all but certain that he won’t be on the F1 grid in 2023, following the news that Pierre Gasly and Nyck de Vries had signed up to Alpine and AlphaTauri respectively for next season.
Daniel Ricciardo on Saturday said he won’t be racing in Formula One next season but was setting his sights on a return to the grid in 2024, after the latest spate of driver moves narrowed down the out-of-contract Mclaren driver’s options.
Shortly after, AlphaTauri said it was replacing Gasly with Dutchman Nyck de Vries, who impressed by taking points on his debut as a stand-in for Alexander Albon at Williams in last month’s Italian Grand Prix.
“I knew they were talking for a while and I knew though they were very interested in Pierre,” said Ricciardo, whose only options now to remain on the grid are with eighth-placed Haas or last-placed Williams, at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo Retirement 2022
The Australian was sacked by McLaren in August after two years of underperformance and has been unable to find himself a competitive seat elsewhere.
With only uncompetitive seats at Haas and Williams available, Ricciardo admitted that he wouldn’t be racing in 2023, with his focus now moving to securing a driver closer to the front in 2024.
Ricciardo emphasised that he wasn’t finished with Formula 1 and that he wouldn’t flirt with racing in other categories if it risked disrupting his plans to return to the sport.
F1 Grid in 2023
Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he will not be on the Formula 1 grid in 2023, describing it as “hitting pause for a little bit” on his F1 career.
Ricciardo is leaving McLaren one year before the end of his contract after mutually agreeing an early exit.
He has struggled since joining the team in 2021, with the notable exception of winning last year’s Italian Grand Prix, and McLaren decided it was better to pursue an alternate option to partner Lando Norris.
The Race understands Ricciardo is willing to take a reserve driver role next year because he wants to remain close to goings on in F1, and he has been linked with such a position at Mercedes and his old team Red Bull.
He has no intention of racing elsewhere even on an invitational basis, even though NASCAR team boss Justin Marks has reached out to Ricciardo, a massive NASCAR fan, to drive Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91 car that ex-F1 racer Kimi Raikkonen has already driven as a guest entry.
“The plan is still to be involved in F1,” said Ricciardo. “It’s kind of just hitting pause for a little bit, as I see it, as far as my F1 career goes.
“The full intention is for 2024. It could open up opportunities to maybe do some of that stuff, but if I feel it’s going to like deviate away from my target, then I would still say it’s not really where I’m looking.