Daniel Ricciardo tackles F1 ‘quit’ theory after major 2023 setback

Jamie Woodhouse
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo faces the media.

Daniel Ricciardo faces the media.

Daniel Ricciardo could see why people thought he should “quit” F1 after being sidelined by his Dutch GP shunt, but he thought different.

Looking to rebuild his career after that nightmare stint with McLaren, Ricciardo returned to the Red Bull family for the start of F1 2023 and found himself back on the grid by Round 11, the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he was drafted in to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.

Two rounds later though his F1 return took a huge setback, Ricciardo suffering a broken hand in a crash during Dutch Grand Prix practice.

Daniel Ricciardo did not consider quitting F1

That put Ricciardo on the shelf for five grands prix, and while he understands that some people would see that as a sign that he needed to call time on his F1 career, Ricciardo used it to fuel his motivation to ultimately work his way back to the upper reaches of the F1 grid.

“I could see how some people would probably say, ‘Okay, you’ve tried to come back, you’ve now had a crazy little freak injury, maybe you should just quit’ – I never saw it like that,” Ricciardo told RacingNews365.com.

“I thought, ‘Okay, this is a shame, but it’s fine’, I’m going keep on this path and I’m determined to fight at the front again. So it’s been a roller coaster, but I feel really good about it.”

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While the outright results may not look too great for Ricciardo, his P7 finish in Mexico his only F1 2023 points scoring outing in a season where AlphaTauri’s pace surge came towards the end, Ricciardo said this year was more about getting answers on whether he and Red Bull were still up to the goal of rebuilding his F1 career.

And on both counts, the response was very positive.

“It’s been the strangest of seasons for sure, but I think in a year where I didn’t think I would race, a lot has happened,” said the eight-time grand prix winner. “Even though I’ve raced, I still haven’t raced much.

“It was just important for me this year to get my answer, to really find out if they truly wanted to keep doing this and just also to get that confidence in myself again.”

Ricciardo continues with Red Bull’s second team for F1 2024 as it awaits confirmation of a fresh identity, with Yuki Tsunoda on the other side of the garage as both look to apply pressure on Sergio Perez in the battle to secure a 2025 Red Bull seat.

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