Haas last ditch effort to recruit Ricciardo

The news broke that Sebastian Vettel was retiring just before the final Formula one race in Hungary before the summer break. The all hell broke loose in the driver market. They day following the race in Budapest Fernando Alonso announced he was leaving Alpine for Aston Martin and the French team immediately responded by naming tier junior academy racer Oscar Piastri as his replacement.

Yet within 2 hours, Piastri responded on social media contradicting the French squads announcement stating, “This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”

The immediate question arose amongst F1 pundits as to why a junior driver with no F1 experience would turn down an opportunity to drive for a top 4 Formula One outfit.



Ricciardo too proud for smaller team

The paddock watches quickly read the tea leaves and realised the lack of support by McLaren chief Zak Brown clearly indicated Daniel Ricciardo was on his way out of the Woking based team.

Yet Ricciardo’s departure from McLaren a year before his contract expired was only confirmed 3 weeks later prior to the first race following the F1 summer break.

The Australian’s response to being sacked by McLaren initially saw him inform the assembled media in Spa, “I want to do it in the right place. I’ve never said that I want to just be a driver to make up the numbers. If I’m here, I want to be here for purpose.

Clearly Daniel Ricciardo was indicating he was not prepared to drive for a midfield team and have the ambition to just score points in the odd races.



Ricciardo: “Rabbit in the headlights”

Yet Daniel’s only hope of a seat in a team capable of podiums or better in the near future was with the Alpine team, who he left two years earlier [as Renault] under a cloud. 

While Alpine appeared an option for a while, it quickly became clear they were looking to recruit Pierre Gasly to form an all French line up with their current driver Esteban Ocon.

Given the seat Gasly would leave behind was at the Red Bull junior team Alpha Tauri it was understandable having raced for the Big Bulls alongside Vettel and Verstaooen that this was a retrograde move the Aussie driver would not contemplate.

The remaining opportunities for a full F1 racing deal in 2023 for Ricciardo were with either the Williams team or with Haas F1. However, it now appears Ricciardo has made no contact with either F1 squad to secure his future in Formula one.



F1 Aussie gobbledegook

A month after his sacking from McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo had this to say on his F1 future at the Singapore GP.

“When I say I don’t know, I don’t have a contract yet for next year,” said Ricciardo.

“Could it still happen? It could. I guess I’m not getting too caught up in next year. Of course I want to race, I want to be on the grid, I want to be competing.

“But I’m not kind of seeing next year as all or nothing. Obviously 2024 is something I want to be aware of and look at.

“So that’s kind of where I’m like, if it means taking a step back to then take two steps forward, then that’s what we’re trying to figure out at the moment, me and my team. So that could be a year off.”



One step backward is in fact three

Ricciardo’s rhetoric since his forced departure from McLaren has appeared vague and nonsensical. He talks about taking a year off to take two steps forward – presumably in 2024 – yet the seats available at the end of next season are no better than his current opportunities.

TJ13: Ricciardo mistake spurning Williams F1 drive

Mercedes have George Russell on a multi year contract and Lewis Hamilton has indicated he will continue beyond his contract that ends next season. Ferrari drivers are both locked in on multi year deals and are Perez and Verstappen at Red bull racing.

Alonso left Alpine for a multi year deal with Aston Martin and his team mate Lance Stroll will drive for the Silverstone team as long as his father owns the company.

Alpine have signed Pierre Gasly on a multi year deal along with Esteban Ocon.



Maybe Audi/Sauber are the future

Having already discounted Ricciardo returning to Alpha tour if Tsunoda’s one year contract extension fails to work out, so what does this leave for Daniel as he takes “one step backwards for two steps forwards”?

This leaves Haas, Williams and possibly Alfa Romeo were the Swiss based team decide to part company with Guanyu Zhou.

Sauber aside, the options of Williams and Haas are what’s on the table for Daniel Ricciardo right now. Sauber of course have Audi in the wings and could it be Ricciardo is hoping for another manufacturer opportunity down the line.



Steiner open offer to Ricciardo

Haas team boss Gunther Steiner has revealed Daniel Ricciardo has not even been in contact with the Haas F1 team. When asked about whether Haas would recruit Ricciardo, Steiner was blunt.

“I want him to decide what he wants to do for himself, first, before being talked into something,” 

“I think he’s a good driver and I don’t know how he got in the situation he’s in now, but I think he needs to come clean with himself and decide what he’s going to do.”

“For us he would be a big hit. He was a race winner and now he is without a job,” Steiner said. 

“He was a race winner just last year. I rate him as a driver, I have no idea why he doesn’t perform right now. That is for him to figure out.”

Steiner has given Riccciardo the biggest green light possible for a drive in Formula One for 2023.

“If he’s interested in us, he’s not shy to call me up. I am not going to chase him down.”




Ricciardo reality check required

Despite their struggles this season the team has revived Kevin Magnussen’s F1 career and could do the same for the 8 time F1 race winner Daniel Ricciardo.

In his media interviews since his sacking from McLaren, Daniel has appeared a bit “rabbit in the headlights”. Almost as though he can’t compute what is happening to him.

The Australian should look at the history books and learn that few drivers leave F1 and return. Given Gunther Steiner’s almost plea for Ricciardo to call Haas F1 – Daniel appears to need a reality check – and soon.

READ MORE: FIA bow to pirelli demands


3 responses to “Haas last ditch effort to recruit Ricciardo

  1. I think a year off is the nail in the coffin for Daniel rather than a saviour, i think nick devries proved that the williams car isnt all that bad and one could argue to some extent that the haas package is pretty much on par with mclaren which is only a mid pack car at best. Wait another year and you are also competing with the next round of junior prodigies from f2 like his replacement at mclaren. If people in the know are saying if you want to stay in f1 you will take any seat offered. Ffs go to haas, kick ass with k mag and make people take notice that you still have what it takes to be in a top team.

  2. Guys, love the reporting. Yet, could you please have someone check spelling and syntax prior to publishing please?

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