Daniel Ricciardo on Red Bull’s stance if he wants an on-track cameo appearance

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo jokes with Christian Horner. November 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo jokes with Christian Horner at announcement of Red Bull third driver role. November 2022.

Although he has no plans right now to compete in a one-off appearance in a rival series this season, Daniel Ricciardo thinks Red Bull will give him the okay if he asks.

Ricciardo is taking a year out of racing, the Aussie opting for a sabbatical after his two seasons with McLaren left him feeling bruised and battered.

To the point that he was relieved none of the top teams came calling after he announced his departure from McLaren.

“In a way I am glad that a top team didn’t reach out because it’s one of those ones where you probably feel, ‘Oh, I’ve got to sign it’, but I think deep down I was just craving a bit of distance,” he told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

The Honey Badger is looking forward to a season on the sidelines where he’ll be doing promotional work for Red Bull and also spending time in the simulator.

He’ll also attend a few grands prix as their reserve driver, but has made it clear that won’t even be at half this season’s 23 races.

But it begs the question what will he do if, or when, the racing bug bites. Will he be open to a one-off appearance in another series, potentially Australia’s Supercars, America’s NASCAR or even IndyCars.

And if he is, will Red Bull give him the go-ahead.

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“I don’t want to say I’m sure,” he said as per Speedcafe when the question was put to him, “but I would think there would be some flexibility if I was really pushing on something that I really wanted to do.

“And if it meant Red Bull would get involved, then maybe it’s a win-win, but right now I’m not really looking at doing anything seriously or competitively.”

But for now, having admitted he felt “some burnout” in his second year with McLaren, he wants a complete break from competition.

“I kind of also just want that mental time off,” he continued. “Competition is awesome and I really do love it, but it’s a lot as well.

“I think, if I was to step into something else, inevitably there would be a level of expectation.

“So I want to make sure that I could just have fun with it because I think that’s really what this year is as well.

“It’s a chance for me to just take a bit more of a light-hearted approach to things and ease off.

“So I think if I went into something that was going to put a lot of pressure on me, I’m not sure I would actually enjoy it.”

Will Formula 1 fans see Daniel Ricciardo race again?

Although Daniel Ricciardo stated in the early days after he and McLaren decided to part ways that he’d be back on the grid in 2024, these days it seems retirement is more on his mind.

Speaking of burnout, wanting a complete break, and not “foaming at the mouth” to get back into the car, the Honey Badger is enjoying his life on the sidelines.

It comes with a lot less training, unmeasurably less pressure, and a sense of contentment he probably hasn’t felt since his early Red Bull days.

He has said he’ll see how he feels when the F1 circus takes to the track in Bahrain next month but right now our favourite Honey Badger is smiling and it’s because he’s not racing.