Daniel Ricciardo says it is less likely that he will race in F1 in 2023, as focus is on 2024 return while other championships is not on the list.

For Ricciardo, it now looks more and more unlikely that he will be on the grid for the 2023 F1 season. Over the Japanese weekend, it was announced that Pierre Gasly will join Alpine, while Nyck de Vries will replace the aforementioned at AlphaTauri.

Right now, only Williams and Haas have openings but it seems by all accounts that Logan Sargeant is a shoe-in there, while Guenther Steiner is remaining very tight lipped on his 2023 line up. As it stands, former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi and F1 super sub Nico Hulkeberg are known to be focal contenders for the Haas drive along with Mick Schumacher, but like everything nothing is ever certain in F1.

A while back, Ricciardo was linked with a possible reserve drive role at Mercedes but nothing is set in stone for that. For some time, it did look like he would be driving at his former employers Alpine where he had two year stint in their Renault guise in 2019 and 2020.

But with the Gasly news now official, it now looks less likely that he will be on the grid next year. “To be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of,” said Ricciardo to media. “I knew they were they were talking for a while, and I knew they were very interested in Pierre. Let’s say I was prepared for that, and no surprise”.

“We were trying to let’s say navigate our way around that, and figure out what was next. But I think the reality is now I won’t be on the grid in ’23.” There may be arguments for and against Ricciardo being on the grid next year. For now he must look at his options in terms of racing and with that in mind, it is a case scenario of “outside” of F1.

“I think it’s now just trying to set up for ’24,” continued Ricciardo. “I think that there could be some better opportunities then. So that’s really what all this confirms, and now where the sights are set. Certainly, the plan is still to be involved in F1. I’d say this is kind of like just hitting pause for a little bit, as I see it, let’s say, as far as my F1 career goes. It’s like the full intention is for ’24.”

Notwithstanding that, other series spring to mind, IndyCar, NASCAR, World Endurance Championship. “Sure, it could open up opportunities to maybe do some of that stuff, but if I feel it’s going deviate away from my target, then I will still say it’s not really where I’m looking, and as fun and cool, to compete in something else,” stated Ricciardo.

The fact of the matter is though that once a Grand Prix driver, always a Grand Prix driver.  He has five races left to perhaps salvage something for 2023 but if not a chance to readjust and recharge. “The truth is mentally I’m not there yet,” said Ricciardo. “I’m still so engaged in this, and I think like a bit of time or out of a seat will probably do me good”.

“So I would probably use that, as opposed to trying to jump in something else and stay busy in a different category. I’d say pretty convincingly, it wouldn’t happen anywhere else,” summed up Ricciardo.

Here’s Oscar Piastri crediting Daniel Ricciardo