Ricciardo continues to study his options for the future after confirming in August that he would leave McLaren at the end of this season, a year before the end of his contract.
Ricciardo has since assumed he won’t be racing in F1 in 2023, but has been rumored with a possible role as a reserve driver at one of the existing teams.
During Sky Sports ‘ coverage of United States Grand Prix qualifying, it was suggested that Ricciardo could return to his old Red Bull team as a substitute driver.
Asked after the session if he had a deal to become a team’s reserve driver next season, Daniel Ricciardo replied: “I don’t have it, I don’t have it. For now, it’s all rumours.”
“Am I talking to someone? Yeah. But nothing signed or anything like that yet.”
Ricciardo assured that he will continue “around here” (referring to the paddock), since he still has “ambitions for 2024”, in which he will seek to return to the grid full time.
“So I won’t completely disconnect from the series, but obviously nothing is guaranteed for 2024,” he added. “There is not a seat that I can say that I am definitely going to occupy.”
“But I’ll still be around and try to get to work to be back.”
When Ricciardo’s departure from McLaren was announced, a number of teams still had seats vacant for 2023, but the driver market has since moved on and is all but closed.
Williams revealed on Saturday that it will field Logan Sargeant in 2023 if it achieves the FIA superlicence, leaving Haas F1 Team as the only team with a free seat.
But Ricciardo doesn’t seem at all interested in signing for the American team: “With what is currently there, I feel that it is better to continue with the plan I have and aspire to something else.”
The ovals, reason why Ricciardo would not want to compete in IndyCar
Ricciardo has embraced Americana during the United States Grand Prix race weekend, entering the paddock on horseback on Thursday wearing a jacket emblazoned with the stars and stripes.
That prompted former F1 driver Romain Grosjean to tweet that Ricciardo was “made for IndyCar” as he himself switched to the American series last year after leaving F1.
But when asked by Motorsport.com if he would consider making the jump to IndyCar, Ricciardo replied: “Fuck it! Ovals scare me.”
“My Formula 1 career is not over, so that’s really first and foremost. I don’t want to change, I would say mainly for that reason. But also for the ovals, no.”
“Ten years ago, I would have said yes. I don’t mind admitting I don’t like ovals.”
He added that he would not even be interested in moving to IndyCar to race only on road and urban circuits, especially since he remains determined to continue in the world of F1.
“They look like fun, but I think as I don’t see myself outside of F1, I haven’t entertained myself thinking about it,” Ricciardo said.
“The romantic part of it, with America and all that, would be fun. But yeah. It’s more of a fantasy.”