Daniel Ricciardo Concedes 2023 F1 Hopes, Turns Focus to '24

f1 grand prix of japan qualifying
Ricciardo Turns Focus to Returning to F1 in '24Eurasia Sport Images - Getty Images
  • Current McLaren F1 diver Daniel Ricciardo has been an ever-present figure in Formula 1 since debuting mid-2011.

  • Ricciardo won seven races during a five-year spell with Red Bull Racing across 2014-18.

  • Ricciardo held a 2023 contract with McLaren but the respective parties agreed to an early termination, prompted by McLaren having recruited rookie Oscar Piastri.

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo concedes that he will not be present on the Formula 1 grid in 2023 and looking at options for a comeback in 2024.

Ricciardo has been an ever-present figure in Formula 1 since debuting mid-2011 with HRT. He swiftly emerged as a fan favorite through his vibrant personality, permanent grin and on-track bravado, regularly lauded for his overtaking prowess.

Ricciardo won seven races during a five-year spell with Red Bull Racing across 2014-18 in which the team had to fight for scraps behind the dominant Mercedes outfit. A desire to depart Red Bull’s environment led to a two-year stint at Renault which was followed by a high-profile move to McLaren.

Ricciardo picked up a victory last year, the eighth of his career, but he was shaded by young teammate Lando Norris, a trait that continued more comprehensively through 2022.

Ricciardo held a 2023 contract with McLaren but the respective parties agreed to an early termination, prompted by McLaren having recruited rookie Oscar Piastri.

At the time of the announcement Ricciardo’s options were already limited but Saturday’s confirmation of Pierre Gasly at Alpine formally closed one potential option at the team for whom he raced in 2019/20. AlphaTauri swiftly confirmed rookie Nyck de Vries as Gasly’s replacement.

Only Haas and Williams, eighth and last in the championship respectively, now have vacancies for 2023. Ricciardo has ruled himself out of chasing those options and will be left without a 2023 seat when the music comes to a stop.

Photo credit: Mario Renzi - Formula 1 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mario Renzi - Formula 1 - Getty Images

“Yeah, to be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of, I knew they were talking for a while and I knew though they were very interested in Pierre,” said Ricciardo at the Japanese Grand Prix. “Let's say I was prepared for that and (it’s) no surprise so we were trying to, let's say, navigate, our way around that and figure out what was next. But I think the reality is now I won't be on the grid in ‘23, I think it's now just trying to set up for '24.

“I think that there could be some better opportunities then, so that's really what all this confirms and now where the sights are set.”

Ricciardo outlined that “certainly the plan is still to be involved in F1” and that he views his situation as “kind of like just hitting pause for a little bit.”

“As far as many F1 career goes the full intention is for ’24.”

Ricciardo has been linked to a reserve role at Mercedes and has so far been ambivalent to the prospect of competing in another category.

Ricciardo qualified in 11th place for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, with former Red Bull teammate and runaway title leader Max Verstappen taking pole position.