Ricciardo will know before the summer if he wants to return to F1 depending if Red Bull allows their new veteran reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo a chance to prove his worth. Ricciardo says he will have to wait a few months to find out if he really wants to return to Formula One as a regular driver or just quit in 2024, likely based on how well his new role goes.
Daniel Ricciardo says he is focused on his role as a reserve and development driver at Red Bull and that it will be a few months before he knows if he really wants to return to Formula One in 2024 as a regular driver, largely if Red Bull offer chances to prove he can still compete on the grid.
After two complicated years with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo’s contract with the British team was terminated a year early, partly because the Australian’s results were deemed disappointing by CEO Zak Brown.
Available overnight on the driver market, Ricciardo ultimately failed to find a competitive enough seat to be on the grid in 2023 and therefore accepted the role of reserve and development driver with his former team Red Bull, which he had left at the end of 2018.
Asked about his new role as a reserve driver, Ricciardo says he is very happy to keep one foot in Formula One without being committed full-time as a regular and hopes to find answers to his questions about his future before this summer.
“My mindset is to try and help the team. I’ll give everything I can in the simulator, and the races I attend, I’ll be in the meetings and I’ll have no problem talking to Max [Verstappen] and Checo [Perez],” Ricciardo explained to Sky Sports.
“I will try to share ideas and try to be the best member of the team. That’s really what I want to do, because personally I also want some time off and I’m not looking forward to this as ‘one last chance’. I’m very happy to be where I am at the moment.”
“I think I will get my answer [on whether he wants to return to F1] internally…it’s an inner feeling. I’m sure I’ll get it before the summer, once the season starts, once I’ve been in the simulator and done some races.”
“I think I’ll really get the answer on what I really want to do and I’ll work towards that,” concluded the Australian driver.
Red Bull confirm Ricciardo won’t be required to attend races
If Daniel is looking toward his team to support his decision making process by allowing him to attend Grand Prix and take the wheel in a free practice session in order to ‘keep his eye in’, and ensure his face is still seen within the paddock, then the Australian will be sorely disappointed.
In 2023, the Red Bull reserve driver is not expected to take part in any free practice sessions on race weekends, but the Australian did admit he might get chance to drive the odd tyre test for Pirelli.
“There are also some events, so I’ll be doing shows throughout the year. After that it’s not confirmed, so I don’t know if it will happen, but I know there are tyre tests…”
The 2023 season starts on March 5 with the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Daniel Ricciardo will not be present at the Sakhir track. The Australian will take part in his first Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne.