Daniel Ricciardo explains reluctance to embrace potential 2023 IndyCar switch

Jon Wilde
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, in the Miami paddock. United States, May 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, in the paddock at the Miami Grand Prix. United States, May 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo says he is not currently interested in pursuing a move to IndyCar because he still has the “blinkers on for F1”.

The Australian is pondering his future after being told his services are not required at McLaren for 2023.

After being a part of the Formula 1 furniture since 2011, Ricciardo now has to see, at the age of 33, what opportunities open up for him to remain on the driver roster.

The only 2023 vacancy that would probably enable him to challenge at the sharp end is with Alpine, but that seat looks increasingly likely to go to Pierre Gasly.

Such a move for Gasly would leave Ricciardo staring at AlphaTauri, Williams, Haas or Alfa Romeo, none of which may appeal greatly to the eight-time grand prix winner.

Beyond that, he would be into the realms of a sabbatical or even a switch to IndyCar. Zak Brown revealed Ricciardo had turned down that opportunity with Arrow McLaren SP when informed of the team’s decision to axe him.

Although a fan of IndyCar, NASCAR and indeed many things American – he bought a home in Los Angeles in 2018 – Ricciardo has explained why the time has not yet arrived when he would embrace the prospect of a full-time Stateside move.

“I would say currently I still see myself as more of a fan of Indy,” said Ricciardo during an interview with Formula1.com on the eve of the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.

“It’s maybe not necessarily that I’m not interested in it. I think there is some. It’s more that I still feel there is unfinished business here, there’s a little more Daniel here in F1.

“That’s why I’ve kind of got blinkers on for F1 still and to try to make it work here before I invest time into something else.”

In terms of a timeline for his decision about what to do next, Ricciardo said he plans to get the current European triple-header out of the way before closing in on any decision.

“I think it will be ongoing for, I want to say, at least the next few weeks,” he said. “I think as well for me with everything that’s gone on I don’t want to make a quick, rash decision. I certainly want to see also how I feel once all this dust settles.

“I feel like by the end of this triple-header I’ll get a bit more of an idea of what feels right.

“I think the main thing I would address to fans is I still want to do it. That’s probably the positive side I’ll put out there to them.

“I appreciate there are also no guarantees, but we’ll see what happens.

“When I know, everyone will know – I don’t really have a reason to hold anything back now or have any secrets. But I still think it will be a bit of time.”