Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he is okay with not being on the grid for the 2023 F1 season. After two difficult seasons at McLaren, Ricciardo and the Woking-based team settled on mutual grounds to terminate his contract for the final year. There are possible chances for Ricciardo in teams like Alpine, Haas, and even Williams, but other rookie drivers seem to have a better chance than the Australian. Ricciardo might have to settle for a back-of-the-grid team, but as he recently revealed, he would rather sit as a third driver for a team than be a permanent driver just for the sake of it. Ricciardo said:
"Obviously this year’s been challenging and if I am on the grid I want to know that it’s a place that I can enjoy it and feel like I can thrive. I don’t want to just jump into a car for the sake of it."
Daniel Ricciardo has driven for HRT, Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Renault, and McLaren. He is a fine driver with eight Grand Prix victories and multiple podiums, however, his time at McLaren has been the hardest. He had trouble acquainting himself with the car, which led to him falling way behind his teammate, Lando Norris. The only remarkable race he had was at Monza in 2021, where he won the Italian GP.
2023 Opportunities closing up for Daniel Ricciardo
When Ricciardo announced that he was leaving McLaren at the end of the season, he had a major chance of a seat at Alpine or Haas. Alpine do not have a replacement for next year as Fernando Alonso is joining Aston Martin and Haas do not have a final contract with Mick Schumacher. But as things stand, Alpine and Pierre Gasly seem to be having a good bond and it might be possible that the Frenchman could be behind the steering wheel of Alpine.
As it goes for Haas, Ricciardo's recent performance at McLaren could largely affect his chances of getting into the team. They might continue with Schumachar as the German has been able to score a few points for himself. Daniel Ricciardo is in a difficult place and has said that he has accepted the chances of not being in a team for the upcoming season.
"I've certainly accepted if I'm not to be on the grid next year, I'm okay with that."
This year's Italian GP took a turn for Daniel Ricciardo as well. He had an engine failure during the final laps of the race and had to retire. Ricciardo has struggled recently and has not managed to score a single point in the last four GPs. This has made McLaren fall to P5 in the Constructors' Championship standings, while Alpine have risen to P4.