Daniel Ricciardo provides update on his goals after beginning year on F1 sidelines

Thomas Maher
Daniel Ricciardo with a small smile, listening to music. Monaco May 2022

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo with a small smile, listening to music. Monaco May 2022

Daniel Ricciardo has popped up to update the world on what he hopes to achieve during his year away from Formula 1 in 2023.

The popular Australian is currently on a hiatus from racing in Formula 1, having been bought out of his 2023 contract by McLaren after two years of lacklustre performances alongside teammate Lando Norris.

While Ricciardo appeared to have a few options to stay on the F1 grid as he was linked with vacant seats at Haas and Williams, discussions led to naught as Ricciardo made it publicly clear he was very much in preference of a complete year off from the grid in order to allow for a mental reset after such a tough period.

As a result, the Australian is sitting on the F1 sidelines for 2023, safe in the knowledge that he has financial security in the form of his McLaren payout as well as getting back on Red Bull’s payroll by joining his old team as a reserve/third driver – Ricciardo will on hand to step in for Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez at several Grands Prix this season, should he be needed.

Daniel Ricciardo outlines his racing goals

While a possible full-time return to an F1 seat is a scenario he’s waiting to see if he still wants, Ricciardo has done what pretty much any of us would do if we were in the job market – taken to LinkedIn and updated his status!

“This is the first year in as long as I can remember that my goals aren’t going to be 100% about racing and competing,” he wrote on his profile, where he has listed himself as Red Bull’s third driver, and a ‘Chief of Optimism’ at Australian telecommunications company Optus.

“Whilst there’s still an element of that, it’s in a different capacity this year and I now have space for a separate set of goals to focus on too.

“From a professional point of view, this year is really about being a team player at Red Bull. I’m back in an environment and, ultimately, a family with which I have a lot of good memories, and it feels really good to be back there. But it’s not about me this year, it’s about the wider team and trying to contribute and help them where I can.”

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Ricciardo made it clear he’s still eager to remain razor-sharp and ready for F1 action.

“Jumping into the simulator, learning their car, and helping shape the development are all things I’m focused on doing,” he said.

“In turn, that will develop my abilities, my confidence, and my enjoyment behind the wheel.

“It’s been a tough couple of years professionally, so there’s an element of that competitor in me wanting to remind people that I’m still here, still a professional, and still contributing to success.”

Daniel Ricciardo eager to address personal goals

With Ricciardo opting against taking a racing contract in any series in order to just have his F1 duties ticking along beside his day-to-day life, he said he’s now got the time to set himself some targets for personal enrichment – a luxury that F1 drivers can’t afford due to their hectic timetables and demanding lifestyles.

“From a personal perspective, this year for me is really feeling like a bit of a luxury to have the opportunity to do things that I’ve always wanted to and not had the time,” he explained.

“I don’t want the year to pass me by because, if I am racing again next year, I’ll wish I’d made the most of the free time whilst I had it. So I have three goals on the personal front:

“Travelling, on my own terms. It’s weird saying this after traveling the world for the last 15 years, but I want to travel more this year. For me, I want to hit some destinations and actually experience the country, slow down and become a local.

“So often with the F1 schedule, we’re in and out of a country in a few days without seeing anything other than the circuit and the hotel, and it’s certainly not a vacation! I get so much energy from new countries, new conversations, and new things, so I’m really looking forward to being in control of the destination and the schedule.

“Spending more time with the important people in my life – my family and friends – and prioritise spending more time one-on-one with them which is something I haven’t been able to do for so long. They’ve always supported me and I haven’t had the time to invest back in them, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.

“Improving my skills on two wheels. People might think I’m joking here but I really want to get better and better on my 110! I’ve always enjoyed motorbikes but have never really been able to ride much because the luxury of time hasn’t been there.

“But I love learning new skills and I think that drive for excellence that I’m used to will carry over into this hobby too. I promise you this is the most fun you can have on two wheels. Riding with friends, jumping things, and being out in nature. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

“So that’s me for the year ahead.. lots to look forward to!”