‘Daniel Ricciardo is beginning to feel the pain of not being a Formula 1 driver’

Sam Cooper
Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull garage. Melbourne, April 2023.

Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull garage. Melbourne, April 2023.

Daniel Ricciardo is showing signs of being unhappy at being off the F1 grid for the first time since 2010, according to Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz.

The Australian is spending at least a year on the sidelines in a Red Bull third driver role after being let go by McLaren, and while it appears he is enjoying life away from the track, he was spotted at an F1 event for the first time this year in Melbourne.

Ricciardo was dressed in the blue, red and yellow of Red Bull as he took part in a number of promotional activities at his home race but did not spend any time out on track.

As such, he was on view for all to see for a lot of the weekend and one man who has spent plenty of time in the pit lane and also with Ricciardo is Sky Sports F1’s pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz.

Speaking before qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, Kravitz suggested Ricciardo was “in pain” and beginning to show signs of not being happy with being off the grid.

“He cut a sad figure on the pit wall,” Kravitz said. “He is beginning to feel the pain of not being a Formula 1 driver.

“He looked to be hating it, and I thought, ‘You don’t want to be there Danny Ric, you don’t want to be watching everybody doing what you used to love or still love doing.'”

Kravtiz had some advice for Ricciardo should he appear at any more races this year and that was to steer clear of the pit wall and instead remain with the engineers in the team garage.

“Don’t do it. Don’t be on the pit wall,” Kravitz said. “I think it’s much better for Danny Ric just to be in with the engineers, studying the lap times.”

Ricciardo did admit he was missing it a little bit but was still happy with life outside the F1 bubble.

“It’s going good,” he told F1TV. “It’s been nice, the first couple of races I was just watching on the couch. But I was still very invested, live timing and all of that.

“But it’s nice to be here this weekend, get a little bit of it back. Even in the garage, I was starting to… yeah, adrenaline was spiking a little. I do miss it but I’m also happy with where I’m at currently.”

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Ahead of the weekend in Melbourne, Ricciardo said “the signs are pointing towards” a 2024 return but he has yet to make any concrete decisions.

“The signs are pointing towards getting back on the grid,” Ricciardo said, as per The Athletic.

“I feel like that’s currently where I’m tracking, at least in my head.

“I’ve even put myself in scenarios now where I’m like, if I got back on the grid tomorrow, what would I do differently? You just don’t have the chance when you’re in it. But I also think that everything happens for a reason.

“Having the chance to step back and just review everything from afar, and with the luxury of time as well, not to be forced to make a decision or rush anything, I feel that if I’m to get back on the grid, I honestly believe I’ll be a better version of myself. A more mature, experienced, complete version.”