Daniel Ricciardo claims he is at peace with the possibility of taking a year off from Formula 1 in 2023.
When word of Fernando Alonso’s departure from the French team for Aston Martin spread, speculation began to circulate that the departing McLaren driver may make a comeback to Alpine for the 2023 season.
However, there has been little to no news of Ricciardo facing such a scenario in the intervening time. Williams and Haas have open positions that might be filled, but once more, other drivers besides the Australian seem to be contending for those slots.
Ricciardo’s intentions for 2023 now appear to center around the prospect of the McLaren driver taking a break from Formula 1.
“I’ve certainly accepted if I’m not to be on the grid next year, I’m okay with that,” said Ricciardo in an interview with Fox Sports.
“I’ve accepted I’m not going to do everything, or my team’s not going to do everything, just to put me on the grid if it’s not right or it doesn’t make sense.”
“Obviously this year’s been challenging and if I am on the grid, I want to know it’s [at] a place I can enjoy it and feel like I can thrive, an environment I feel I can thrive in… I don’t want to just jump into a car for the sake of it.”
Ricciardo appeared poised to break his three-race points slump with McLaren at Monza last weekend. But despite maintaining a strong P8 position, a water leak on his McLaren MCL36 just eight laps from the finish line excluded him from a potential race win.
“Days like this certainly are pretty frustrating, but give it 24, 48 hours and I’ll get over it and try to understand what’s best for next year,” said Ricciardo after the race.”
“Not in an over-confident or cocky way, but if it’s not meant to be then I’m totally okay with that… I won’t be too proud.”
“We haven’t certainly given up on [getting a seat] but that’s kind of where my head’s at, at the moment.”
With six races remaining in the 2022 season, Ricciardo is currently 69 points and seven positions behind teammate Lando Norris in the F1 Drivers’ standings.