Daniel Ricciardo does not rule out the possibility of racing in Formula 1 next season but said he would not be too proud to sit out a year if the right opportunity was not present.
Ricciardo became a free agent at the end of the year after McLaren decided to pay to end his contract a year early.
The future of the Australian tennis player is a hot topic in F1 because of his three-time championship in European races. His options for a seat in the 2023 race are Alpine, Williams and Haas, or take a year off from the race with the goal of returning in 2024.
Ricciardo wants a fascinating project to take on if he’s in the race next season.
“I’ve certainly accepted that if I don’t play next year, I’m fine with that,” Ricciardo said. “I’ve accepted that I won’t do everything – or my team won’t do everything – just to put me in the net if that’s not right or it doesn’t make sense.
“This is a challenge and if I’m going to be on the grid, I want to know that it’s a place where I can enjoy it and feel like I can thrive, like an environment where I feel I have.” Like I said, I don’t. I don’t want to jump into a car for the sake of it.
“I’ll try to understand what’s best for next year. Not in a way that’s overly confident or complacent, but if that’s not meant to be then I totally agree with that, I won’t be too overbearing. We certainly haven’t given up on it yet, but that’s my top spot at the moment.”
Riccioardo’s presence in the driver market has the potential to stall decisions by all three teams.
Alpine has its eye on AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, but that move now seems contingent on Red Bull adding Dutch driver Nyck de Vries to its youth team with Colton Herta unlikely to be exempt from promotion. flower.
De Vries is also competing with Williams after scoring on his F1 debut with the team at the Italian Grand Prix.
Haas said there was no rush to make the decision, with Mick Schumacher’s form improving. It is understood that the team is considering Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi, while they are also not excluding themselves from the race for Ricciardo.