(Motorsport-Total.com) – Daniel Ricciardo has ruled out a change to another 2023 racing series – but not for a year to find the right cockpit for 2024. The Australian will leave McLaren at the end of the season after reaching an early termination agreement.
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Daniel Ricciardo’s future uncertain after McLaren exit
Ricciardo’s other road is still open. But he clearly wants to stay in Formula 1: “I still love the sport and want to do it competitively. I want to do it in the right place and I’ve never said I just want to be there to fill the field. I want to be here for a reason.”
But he also says he doesn’t yet know what that means for his future. There are rumors of a return to the Alps, but Ricciardo wants one thing above all: “the right opportunity”.
If it doesn’t happen in 2023, it doesn’t rule out one year. “If that makes sense, yes,” he asserts as a possibility. “It’s the only race I’m interested in at this point in my career,” the Australian said. “I love Formula 1 and see myself there if I’m going to drive anywhere.”
“But like I said, if the stars aren’t doing well next year and that doesn’t make sense next year, and if that means I have to take some time to refocus, I’m willing to do it if it does.”
The load dropped from the shoulders
But before that, it is still necessary to finish the season with McLaren. The Australian still has nine races to say goodbye to the team in the best possible way. He says that after the decision, a little of the burden has been lifted off his shoulders. “Now I can just go out and drive and have fun.”
However, at the same time, he should also put himself in the window and recommend him for further missions with other teams. And of course he also wants to say goodbye to the team appropriately: “There are a lot of people who support me and want me to be successful,” he says.
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He explains, “I’m not someone who drives and enjoys it. I want to drive as competitively as possible and as fast as possible. So there’s no laziness.” “I just go out there, have fun and try to have another Monza moment. I owe it to myself and to the people who support me.”
The question will be whether Ricardo will succeed. Because so far he has only collected 19 championship points this season. During the two years together, he lost visibly to teammate Lando Norris, which may have eroded his confidence. But Ricardo says, “I feel quite capable of building myself up.”
He has done this many times in his career. “No one has a perfect career, so I’ve learned to deal with it over time,” he says. “Of course that’s another hurdle now, but if I wanted to build myself up I would too. Faith and fire are still inside of me.”
Vettel struggles with Ricciardo
His former teammate Sebastian Vettel, who will end his career at the end of the season, is suffering a little: “Maybe I have a little sympathy for the Formula 1 driver, but it’s sad to hear what’s happening with Daniel,” the German. “It’s a very difficult situation for him.”
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The four-time world champion still believes Ricciardo is one of the best drivers and knows from his own experience at Red Bull 2014 what can be tough: “It was a pleasure to compete against him and the less fun side, being defeated by him years ago to become, and still am I think he has a lot to offer.”
“I don’t know the details, but I suspect that McLaren has not been able to use the potential it has,” Vettel said. “It is sad to see that it is in a difficult position.” “But of course I wish him well and I’m sure his talent and qualities will shine through in the end.”