Daniel Ricciardo wanted to enjoy some time away from the Formula 1 circus, and it would appear he has certainly got his smile back.
The last few years have been far from smooth for Ricciardo in a Formula 1 sense, troubles which certainly tested his life of the party persona in the paddock.
Ricciardo’s switch to McLaren ahead of the 2021 campaign was supposed to mark a major boost for both team and driver in their respective journeys back towards the front of the Formula 1 grid.
That scenario did not transpire though, as instead Ricciardo would struggle for large parts of his two-year tenure with the team to match the performance level of team-mate Lando Norris.
And midway through the 2022 campaign, McLaren would confirm that Ricciardo’s contract was to be terminated at the end of the campaign, a year before it was set to expire, with compatriot Oscar Piastri announced as his replacement.
Towards the end of his McLaren time we saw an increasingly worn down and confused Ricciardo ready to head for F1’s exit door, and he took the decision not to push for a place on the F1 2023 grid, instead signing as a third driver with Red Bull to attend selected races as he looked to recharge and decide if he wants a full-time return to the series.
— Daniel Ricciardo Brazil (@RicciardoBrazil) March 26, 2023
And with a very limited schedule which he is not used to these days, Ricciardo has been putting some of that time to use by partying in Las Vegas, the Aussie seen hanging out with music duo The Chainsmokers at Encore Beach Club.
As one fan very rightly put it on Twitter, Ricciardo truly is “living his best life” with that beaming smile very much back on his face.
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In November of this year Formula 1 will stage its first Las Vegas Grand Prix as the penultimate round of the F1 2023 campaign, and considering how much fun Ricciardo has been having already in Las Vegas, we can be pretty sure that he will pop up there for the event.
And if Red Bull do not take him, then he has already said before that in such case he would get himself there anyway.
But as for the short-term, the next step on the F1 schedule is Ricciardo’s home race, the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, where his former team McLaren will be looking for an improved display having failed to score a point in the first two races of F1 2023.