SportF1Hamilton: "Ricciardo is too talented to be a Mercedes...

Hamilton: "Ricciardo is too talented to be a Mercedes reserve"

Daniel Ricciardo is preparing to leave McLaren – the venue where he has competed at since the start of the 2021 season – following the team’s decision to replace him with Oscar Piastri for next year, so there is keen interest in where he will end up. winner of eight races in Formula 1.

Apparently, the Australian will receive financial compensation from the Woking team to cover the third year of the contract he signed with the British in 2020, and could decide to take a campaign out of the category to work for another team as a reserve driver. .

That would be a possibility if Ricciardo’s move to Alpine doesn’t go through, something unlikely given his decision to leave that team and join McLaren for 2021, or head to Haas or Williams .

Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza, some media were rumored to be Mercedes’ third driver in 2023, and when Lewis Hamilton was asked about it at the press conference , he will be alongside George Russell with the Arrows . silver next year, he replied: “I think he should race. He’s too talented [to be a third rider] and he’s earned the right to be among all of us”.

“But of course if he’s part of our team it would be great, although the role of third [driver] isn’t the best for him. If I was managing him, he’d be racing!” exclaimed the seven-time champion.

Joining him at the press conference, Ricciardo was also asked for his response to the rumours, to which he said he is “evaluating everything” in terms of his future plans.

“The truth is that I am keeping all options open, not only for next year, but for the future,” he added. “I still don’t know what next year is going to be like. Like Lewis [Hamilton] said, I want to be on the grid, I want to race.”

“I mentioned it a few weeks ago, although this has been a difficult moment in my career, it has not taken away my love for the sport and that desire to continue here and compete,” the Australian continued. “Obviously there’s been a lot of talk about next year and beyond, but I’m not sure what that’s going to look like yet.”

Hamilton’s current contract with Mercedes only covers the 2023 season , which could mean a role as reserve driver for Ricciardo at Brackley’s outfit could give him a starting seat if the seven-time world champion decides to step away from F1. at the end of next year.

However, the Briton has dismissed these speculations and has once again explained his intentions regarding his future in motorsport’s top flight, stating that he is “on track” towards a new deal for 2024 and beyond.

“For years we’ve been going around, up and down with stories of withdrawal, of stopping,” he said. “I feel better than ever, fit, I love what I do, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon, sorry mate [for Ricciardo]!”

“My goal has always been to be with Mercedes since I signed with them in 1997 [as a McLaren junior during their years as a team associated with Mercedes for their engine supply deal],” he said. “I love that we have the long association that we have. I feel like we’re embarking on a lot of positive things, not only in the sport, but outside of it as well.”

“And I think there’s a lot [more] to accomplish together. So I want to be a part of it,” Hamilton said. “I think I will always be with Mercedes, until the day I die. I feel like I can race for quite a while longer.”


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