Daniel Ricciardo says he has accepted the possibility of not being on the F1 grid next year, with his options of a race seat seemingly dwindling.
A difficult 2022 for Ricciardo has resulted in McLaren cancelling his contract one year earlier than planned, in order to replace the Australian with compatriot Oscar Piastri for 2023.
Ricciardo had previously stated his intention to remain on the F1 grid in 2023, but possible openings at teams such as Alpine, Haas and Williams seem destined for other drivers.
In recent days, Ricciardo intimated that he would settle for a role as a third driver for 2023 with a view towards returning to a race seat in the future, and speaking after the Italian Grand Prix, the Australian said he was ready to consider an enforced sabbatical next year.
“I’ve certainly accepted if I’m not to be on the grid next year, I’m okay with that,” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.com.
“I’ve accepted that I’m not going to do everything, or my [management] team is not going to do everything just to put me on the grid if it’s not right, or it doesn’t make sense.
“If I am on the grid, I want to know that it’s a place that I can enjoy and feel that like I can thrive in, so I don’t want to just jump into a car for the sake of it.”
Ricciardo ‘will get over’ Monza DNF
After lining up fourth on the grid at Monza after penalties for others, Ricciardo endured another disappointing afternoon when his MCL35 ground to a halt with five laps to go.
Despite his failure to finish, the Australian said he would soon get over the Monza race and focus on trying to secure his future.
“Days like this are certainly pretty frustrating, but I think give it 24 or 48 hours and I’ll, let’s say, get over it and try to understand what’s best for next year,” said Ricciardo.
“Not in an overconfident or cocky way, but if it’s not meant to be then I’m totally okay with that. I’m not going to be too proud.
“We certainly haven’t given up on [a race drive in 2023], but that’s kind of where my head’s at the moment.”