Former F1 star Daniel Ricciardo has opened up on his new ambitions after he was punted from his spot at McLaren for upstart Oscar Piastri and left with no drive for the 2023 season.
Regardless of having not received a Grand Prix (outdoors of a Bradbury-esque effort in Monza in 2021) since he drove for Crimson Bull in 2018, Ricciardo’s departure from McLaren was broadly seen as unjust and left a bitter style within the mouths of Australian Method One followers.
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Quite than safe a seat with a smaller workforce and keep on the grid on the expense of his not-insignificant paycheck, Ricciardo opted for a reserve position with Crimson Bull, returning to the workforce with whom he twice completed third within the World Championship and received seven Grands Prix.
Ricciardo won’t be on the grid subsequent weekend at Albert Park, however will likely be within the paddock as Crimson Bull’s reserve driver.
“That is the primary 12 months in so long as I can keep in mind that my objectives aren’t going to be 100% about racing and competing,” he wrote on LinkedIn.
“I’m again in an atmosphere and in the end a household that I’ve a variety of good reminiscences with, and it feels actually good to be again there,” he mentioned.
“Nevertheless it’s not about me this 12 months, it’s concerning the wider workforce and making an attempt to contribute and assist them the place I can.
“Leaping into the simulator, studying their automobile and serving to form the event are all issues I’m targeted on doing.
“In flip that may develop my talents, my confidence and my enjoyment behind the wheel.”
Earlier than Ricciardo signed for Crimson Bull, former World Champion Jenson Button known as it a “unusual” alternative.
“I don’t know what he would get out of being a 3rd driver,” mentioned Button, now a pundit with Sky Sports activities F1.
“He’s not a younger driver, so he can’t drive the automobile subsequent 12 months in race weekends (free follow), it needs to be a younger driver.
“So he actually wouldn’t get something out of it.”
Button steered that Ricciardo wanted to remain related, as a result of it was straightforward to get “forgotten” within the sport.
“It must be the workforce the place he thinks he can get a seat for 2024, in any other case it’s recreation over since you get forgotten after a 12 months in F1.”
Ricciardo talked about it was a “powerful couple of years professionally”, however the aggressive streak nonetheless ran inside him.
“There’s a component of that competitor in me desirous to remind folks that I’m nonetheless right here, nonetheless knowledgeable and nonetheless contributing to success,” he mentioned.
Surprisingly, Ricciardo spoke about journey as a precedence for him this 12 months, which is perhaps stunning given the high-flying, constantly-travelling nature of the Method One circus that he has been on since 2011.
“I don’t need the 12 months to cross me by, as a result of if I’m racing once more subsequent 12 months, I’ll want I’d made the many of the free time while I had it,” he mentioned.
“I wish to journey extra this 12 months. I wish to hit some locations and truly expertise the nation, decelerate and turn into a neighborhood.
“I get a lot vitality from new nations, new conversations and new issues, so I’m actually wanting ahead to being in charge of the vacation spot and the schedule.”
Ricciardo additionally mentioned he wished to “enhance his abilities on two wheels”, referring to his love of motorbikes.
“I actually wish to get higher and higher on my 110,” he mentioned.
“I’ve at all times loved motorbikes however by no means actually been capable of experience a lot as a result of the luxurious of time hasn’t been there.
“I really like studying new abilities and I believe that drive for excellence that I’m used to will carry over into this interest too.
“Using with pals, leaping issues and being out in nature – I’m getting excited simply fascinated by it.”
Ricciardo advised the Past the Grid podcast late final 12 months that he wished to experience a 110cc bike throughout America, a rustic he has a famous affinity with.
“After I ultimately cease racing and get a little bit of time, I wish to highway journey round America,” he advised host Tom Clarkson.
“I believe additionally, what a 110 (bike) going throughout America would symbolise is slowing down, and simply taking every part in.
“We’re at all times fascinated by getting someplace as fast as we are able to, getting the job performed, getting out, and it’s like no, I wish to soak every part in, and simply be.”