SINGAPORE — Daniel Ricciardo says his management has been in talks with a number of Formula One teams about a drive next year, but insists he is at peace with the prospect of not being on the grid in 2023.
Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of the season after his contract was cut a year short to make way for Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri in 2023.
It’s not yet clear whether Ricciardo will remain in F1 next year, with only three teams — Alpine, Haas and Williams — yet to confirm their driver line-ups for 2023.
He is not currently linked to any of the open seats in the media, but said his management has been exploring his options.
“My team is talking to pretty much everyone and they are having conversations,” Ricciardo said. “So we are just trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense.
“So it’s not that they’re not interested, and while I’m not coming from a place of over confidence, we are just doing our due diligence and figuring out what’s best.
“Trying to see beyond next year, because for me I want be racing but also don’t want to be just looking at the next 12 months and not the next 24.”
Ricciardo said he is open to the idea of being a reserve driver at a top team, especially if it comes with the possibility of it turning into a race drive in 2024.
“I’m still keen to be part of F1. Of course, Plan A would to be on the grid, so nothing’s changed, but I don’t want to just jump at the first seat available. I know the landscape has probably changed as well at the end of next year with contracts or whatever, so I’m remaining open.
“I know that if I choose to take a reserve role or not race next year, nothing’s guaranteed. So that comes at a risk, but that’s what we are weighing up. At this stage, especially with a top team, there are no guarantees.”
Ricciardo said he returned to his family home in Australia during the recent three-week break between races, which gave him some indication of how he might feel if he spent a year out of F1 next year.
“It’s like a little bit of time away is powerful and reminds you how much you miss it and that’s where next year, if I’m not racing, I feel like there could be a blessing in all that,” he added. “It could make me start foaming at the mouth wanting to get back, so that’s why I’d be pumped to be on the grid again but also seeing positives if that’s not the case.
“That’s why I’m at peace with whatever happens in 2023, because everything is going to happen for a reason and all these things makes sense. Having a couple of weeks off is good for headspace, clarity and all those kinds of things.”