Daniel Ricciardo has confessed he’s “glad” a prime Method One group didn’t supply him a seat on the grid for 2023.
McLaren determined to half methods with Ricciardo regardless of there being one other 12 months left on his contract, choosing up countryman Oscar Piastri in an unpleasant exit from the group.
Ricciardo’s F1 profession is susceptible to truly fizzling out after separate two-year stints at Renault and McLaren produced underwhelming outcomes after his shock transfer to depart Pink Bull on the finish of 2018.
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Ricciardo has now returned to his former group Pink Bull in a reserve drive position he’ll share with Kiwi teen Liam Lawson.
The transfer away from a full-time drive is broadly seen as a step backwards for Ricciardo and there’s each likelihood he might wrestle to get again on the grid sooner or later.
There’s a risk the 33-year-old might nonetheless be driving in F1 this 12 months had he accepted repeated affords from Haas group principal Guenther Steiner.
Ricciardo didn’t entertain the concept of driving for Haas or different groups decrease on the grid like Williams and Alfa Romeo — intent on taking a 12 months off.
However there’s no assure there can be a gap him for at a prime group in 2024, with Pink Bull (Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez), Ferrari (Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz) and Mercedes (George Russell, Lewis Hamilton) entrenched with their driving pairings for the foreseeable future.
Talking on the Past the Grid podcast, Ricciardo mentioned he was relieved Pink Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari didn’t supply him a full-time drive he would have felt obliged to simply accept when his coronary heart wasn’t in it for 2023.
“There was a few instances the place (Ferrari) was linked. Guenther (Steiner, Haas group principal) reached out,” Ricciardo mentioned.
“The extra … days that handed and, particularly as I did the triple-header to get again into the second half of the season – so three races on the bounce – it grew to become increasingly more clear that it wasn’t about what telephone name I used to be receiving; it was about me acknowledging that I simply in the end don’t need to be competing subsequent 12 months.
“So, in a manner I’m glad that, let’s say, a prime group didn’t attain out, as a result of it’s a kind of ones the place you most likely really feel, ‘Oh, I’ve acquired to signal it’, however I believe deep down I used to be simply craving a little bit of distance.”
Ricciardo has been open about feeling burnt out after his struggles at McLaren and he hopes a 12 months away from the weekly grind of F1 will profit his psychological well being revitalise his love for the game.
“You can name it some burnout, however I’m not afraid to confess that or say that,” he mentioned.
“And it’s a kind of ones the place everybody could have an opinion and this and that, nevertheless it’s in the end that I do know what I really feel, I do know what I would like. It was a few of that.
“And I really feel very … I don’t need to say that I’m the one driver that feels this manner, however I might say that I’m not the conventional sportsman the place I form of simply use ‘observe makes good’.
“The extra I do generally, the extra I’m similar to getting form of misplaced in it, the place I form of really feel like the facility of a break for me, a while off, I might come again higher. I do know for me that might really be actually good.”
The 2023 F1 season will get underway on the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5.