Daniel Ricciardo drops fresh hint on F1 future

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at 2022 McLaren launch

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Daniel Ricciardo has hinted that he’ll still be around F1 next season, despite seeing his contract with McLaren terminated early. Ricciardo’s McLaren deal was set to run until the end of next season, but the Woking-based team have paid off the final year and will replace him with Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri.

According to Channel 4, Ricciardo won’t be given a race seat by any of the 10 F1 outfits next year but will instead have another role linked to one of the teams. And the 33-year-old said: “You’ll see me around. It’s not that I am checking out and saying see you later.”

Ricciardo joined McLaren on a three-year deal at the start of last season to drive alongside British sensation Lando Norris. But the Australian has struggled to match Norris’ pace and has been guilty of a string of underwhelming performances.

And on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix in August, McLaren and Ricciardo announced that they would go their separate ways. “It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons but following several months of discussions with Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] & Andreas [Seidl, team principal] we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season,” Ricciardo said.

“I’ll be announcing my own future plans in due course but regardless of what this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza last season.

“I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren both trackside and back in Woking and will be giving my all on and off track as we enjoy the remainder of the season together. I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be a part of a sport that I love so much and look forward to what comes next.”

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Despite his apparent desire to compete, the veteran has since explained that he is ready for a break from driving. “It’s something I’ve certainly evaluated since the summer break,” Ricciardo said earlier this week.

“I wanted to give it a few races and the more time that passes, the more I feel like it’s what I need. Albeit as well the opportunities – there’s not really anything in the form of next year. It’s part I would like the break and need to reset a little bit, and part 2024 as well, some other things may open up.”

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