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Reserve role "realistic" admits Ricciardo

NEWS STORY
29/09/2022

Though not quite closing the door on his chances of securing a seat on the grid for 2023, Daniel Ricciardo admits that a reserve driver role is realistic.

As it stands, there are just two vacancies on the 2023 grid, at Alpine and Haas. Though Williams has yet to announce a teammate to Alex Albon, Nyck de Vries appears to have that one in the bag.

Understandably, due to his popularity and presence, not to mention race-winning experience, it is the future of Daniel Ricciardo that many are interested in. However, despite the two week break since Monza, the Australian admits that there is nothing to report.

"My headspace is in the same space," he told reporters in Singapore. "I'm still keen to be part of F1.

"Of course, Plan A would be to be on the grid," he admitted, "but nothing's changed.

"Let's say I don't want to just jump at the first seat available," he continued, possibly a reference to Haas. "I know the landscape probably changes as well, end of next year with contracts and whatever, so I'm just… I don't want to say remaining patient, but just remaining open.

"My team is talking with, I want to say, pretty much everyone, or they're having conversations," he said, "so we're just trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense.

"I also don't want to just look at the next 12 months and not look at the next 24," he added.

When it was suggested that his options appear to be a reserve role or race seat with a "back of the grid" outfit, he agreed.

"That's the two, I would say, realistic options," he replied. "It's not to be anywhere else. I love other disciplines of motorsport but I don't see myself there. At least, I feel as though I jump into something like that and then it closes the door in F1. It kind of feels like I checked out and I haven't. So I'm solely focused on F1. We'll see."

Asked if a season with a "back of the grid" team could be as damaging as leaving F1 for another discipline for a year, he said: "It's possible. These are all the things I'm weighing up. What fighting at the front does, when you've had that taste as well, it's real, you know, and that's ultimately where I want to be, so I guess I don't want to just go from race to race. I want to race with a true belief and understanding that I can be back on the podium, ultimately.

"If I'm not to be racing (in F1), then I feel like there could be a blessing in all that," he insisted. "I mean, it could make me fricking start foaming at the mouth, wanting to get back. So that's why I'm pumped to be on the grid again, but I'm also seeing positives if that's not the case.

"So that's why I'm at peace with whatever's going to happen in '23, because I feel like everything's going to happen for a reason and all these things will make sense.

"Having a few weeks off was good to get some headspace, clarity, all those things."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Singapore here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 07/10/2022 1:01

"Sad, but at least he'd be visible and party to the inside details of what is happening where and when. Haas and Williams are a dead end IMO. "

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2. Posted by Superbird70, 30/09/2022 14:37

"Hmm, one step away from being the parking valet for the Las Vegas Grand Prix."

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