Oct.31 (GMM) Daniel Ricciardo has finally confirmed that he “won’t be on the grid next year”.
The eight-time grand prix winner turned down Haas’ offer of talks about a 2023 race seat after losing his place at McLaren.
“I won’t be on the starting grid next year, but I will be here because I have ambitious goals for 2024,” the 33-year-old Australian said in Mexico.
It was rumoured that he would become Mercedes’ reserve driver next year, replacing the Alpha Tauri-bound Nyck de Vries.
But there are also rumours that he is in talks with Red Bull about a similar role for 2023.
“Discussions are ongoing, but nothing has been signed yet,” Ricciardo said. “Nothing is guaranteed for 2024, but I will do everything I can to return.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirms that talks are taking place – and he also thinks the former Renault and Red Bull driver is negotiations with “other teams”.
“Also with Red Bull Racing,” said the Austrian. “For us, we think he’s a great character. But we are not yet ready to say who our third driver will be next season.
“His personality is an absolute strength, and Daniel has been with us for a long time – he knows these cars inside out,” Wolff added. “That can definitely be an advantage.
“But I don’t want to start any rumours here, because the truth is that we haven’t decided yet.”
Ricciardo was voted ‘driver of the day’ in Mexico after a series of overtakes en route to seventh at the flag – but Yuki Tsunoda was furious with the Australian for a collision.
“It annoys me so much that such an experienced driver tried to overtake in a corner where overtaking is basically impossible,” said the Japanese.