Daniel Ricciardo admits the confirmations of seats at Alpine and AlphaTauri has left him in a position where he won’t race in Formula 1 in 2023, and says he won’t do so in another series either.
The Australian was released from his McLaren contract a year early as a result of a tough first two seasons with the team, with Oscar Piastri replacing him. The final decision only came in the summer break, leaving Ricciardo with limited time to try and secure a 2023 seat and once Alpine opted to sign Pierre Gasly and Nyck de Vries was confirmed at AlphaTauri he admits there aren’t any seats remaining that he is chasing.
“To be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of,” Ricciardo said. “I knew they were talking for a while and I knew they were very interested in Pierre, so I would say I was prepared for that and no surprise. We were trying to navigate our way round that and figure out what was next, but I think the reality now is I won’t be on the grid in ’23.
“I think it’s now just trying to set-up for ’24, I think there could be some better opportunities then, so that’s really what all this confirms and now where the sights are set.”
Despite the fact he will not have a race program for 2023, Ricciardo says he doesn’t see himself attempting any other one-off events such as a NASCAR appearance as he isn’t ready to take his mind off F1 yet.
“Certainly the plan is still to be involved in F1, and this is kind of like just hitting pause for a little bit. That’s the way I see it as far as my F1 career goes. The full intention is for ’24. Sure it could open up opportunities to maybe do some of that stuff but if I feel it’s going to deviate away from my target I would still say it’s not really where I’m looking.
“As cool as it sounds to compete in something else, the truth is mentally I’m not there yet. I’m still so engaged in this, and I think a bit of time off or out of a seat will probably do me good, so I would probably use that as opposed to trying to jump in something else and stay busy in a different category. So I would still say pretty convincingly it wouldn’t happen anywhere else.”
Haas and Williams have still to confirm their respective second seats for 2023, but Ricciardo is understood not to be interested in a move to either team.