Daniel Ricciardo looking to strike ‘unique’ reserve deal, ‘it has to sit well with me’

Sam Cooper
Daniel Ricciardo in the paddock. Suzuka October 2022.

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo smiles walking through the paddock. Japan October 2022.

Daniel Ricciardo has said that any reserve role he would take for 2023 has to be “unique” and has to “sit well with me.”

Ricciardo’s future is one of the most talked about topics in Formula 1 with the current McLaren driver yet to announce his plans once his deal ends with the Woking-based team at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

The Australian has been vague about his exact plans, ruling out other series like IndyCar, while suggesting he could take a year out altogether.

But it seems increasingly likely the eight-time winner will take on a reserve role with a move to Mercedes or his former team Red Bull possibly on the cards.

Ricciardo has admitted that he hoped his experience in Formula 1 had given him enough credit for him to be able to take a “unique” role with the reserve spot usually reserved for rookies looking to get time in the car.

“Fortunately I feel like I’ve done enough to make this case a little unique and cater for it in a way – obviously it has to work on both side – but it has to sit well with me,” Ricciardo ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, as reported by the Race.

“It’s why I don’t want to just jump on the grid again next year, I don’t want to just to jump into something.

“I want to take this opportunity to make sure I get enough time for myself to feel the way I need to feel about the sport again.”

Ricciardo may have had the opportunity to remain on the grid for next season in the form of Haas with the American team now the only constructor yet to have confirmed their line-up for 2023.

The Australian has not shown much interest in that though and said that he wants to make sure he gets “enough time to myself.”

“You struck the right word with balance because it’s obviously something that I also want to get enough time to myself.

“And it’s even that – and especially with next year with 24 races – we actually don’t get that much time to train on a physical side so even things like that.

“If I’ve got more time to myself, I’m sure I can get into better shape. Not that it’s something that’s held me back but just in terms of perfecting some things, it’s even having time off to work on myself.

“It’s not just to go and have a holiday or something.”

Ricciardo has served as a reserve driver before having done so for Toro Rosso at the start of 2012.

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