Yesterday, some of the British media, including this website, reported that Mercedes was considering signing Daniel Ricciardo. Formula 1 record world champion Lewis Hamilton was later asked about the rumour. The British driver admitted that he thinks a role as a reserve driver for the Silver Arrows is not out of the question for the Australian having “earned the right to race with us”, but not as a reserve driver.
Paddock speculation about Daniel Ricciardo’s future continues ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Mercedes are considering signing the Australian. Rumour has it that the plan is for Ricciardo to be the reserve driver in the 2023 season before the 33-year-old could take over Lewis Hamilton’s cockpit in 2024. READ MORE ON THIS STORY
Hamilton, however, thinks the rumours are people planning games, as he put on record at the official FIA press conference on Thursday. “First of all, I think he [Ricciardo] should race,” the seven-time world champion said. The Australian is “far too talented” for a reserve role: “He has earned the right to race with us.”
But if Ricciardo does move to Mercedes, it would be “great”, Hamilton said:
“But I don’t think the third driver role is the right place for him. If I was managing him, then he would be driving [next year].”
Kimi Raikkonen at Monza in 2005 at the limit 💨 Squeezing the MP4/20 with a screaming V10 sound during free practice. pic.twitter.com/3Esauz7xaL
— Filippos McLaren (@F1lippos) September 8, 2022
The rumours of a Ricciardo switch only arose in the first place because no one yet knows how much longer Lewis Hamilton will be in the cockpit at the Silver Arrows. Some consider a retirement after the 2023 season to be extremely very likely. The British driver himself, however, is not concerned with that for a long time yet.
“For years there have been these stories about my retirement. But I feel healthier than ever, that’s my focus. I feel fit and I love what I do. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon,” said Hamilton, who then turned to Ricciardo, who was sitting next to him, and joked: “Sorry, mate.”