Ricciardo’s F1 shelf life has ‘a few more years’

Jon Wilde
Daniel Ricciardo on media day for the Hungarian GP. Budapest July 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo with no face mask on media day for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest July 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo is planning to stay in Formula 1 for “a few more years” – as long as he remains competitive, that is.

The Australian is moving into the zone of being one of the elder statesmen on the grid, now 32 and with only four drivers more senior to him in terms of age.

All of that quartet are the past and present World Champions still competing, that being a status Ricciardo is naturally disappointed he has not achieved for himself.

At present, the former Red Bull and Renault racer looks a long way away from competing for a title having surprisingly struggled since joining McLaren this season, although the new regulations next year could offer a reset and revive his hopes of becoming a challenger.

But Ricciardo has insisted he will not want to hang around in Formula 1 if all it offers is driving around at the back with little prospect of success.

That is not something he has experienced since joining Red Bull in 2014, winning seven races since then as he now approaches his 200th grand prix at Spa on the last weekend in August.

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Asked during an interview with Motorsport.com whether, being nearly a decade younger than Kimi Raikkonen, he could race for a long time yet, Ricciardo said: “It depends on a lot of factors.

“I’ve always considered myself a winner in this sport, so if I found myself constantly out of the points and without the right team behind me I’d probably say ‘okay, my time here is over, goodbye’.

“But at the moment, I think I’ll be here for a few more years. As I approach the 200th grand prix and I look back on what I see, it makes me happy because getting to Formula 1 is the hardest thing for a driver to achieve, but it’s not easy to stay there either.

“So I’m proud of my path. I would obviously have liked a world title but I’m happy and satisfied with the choices I made. Then, in terms of the future, we’ll see what’s in store for me.”

Asked if he could see himself in another category outside of F1, Ricciardo said: “I don’t know, really. I look at Fernando Alonso and I see he’s fine, but I’m sure at some point I’ll say ‘okay, enough’, I’m tired or I don’t want to push a car to the limit anymore.

“Maybe when I get older, other things start coming. But I don’t think it will happen to me any time soon. Maybe five, seven years, who knows?”