Daniel Ricciardo will not be on the Formula 1 grid in 2023. While his ‘third driver’ role with Red Bull lets him stay connected to the paddock, he’s earlier made it clear that he won’t be in the paddock every weekend. He won’t be in action a lot, and won’t compete in any other racing series either. It does seem that he’s going to be used more for show runs and promotional events.
Ricciardo seems to be fine with this arrangement, as he still feels he needs a break. The Australian has earlier talked about using the break to rediscover his ‘intense love’ for Formula 1. He will be 34 this year, so he doesn’t have a lot of time left in F1 (or to rediscover his love for it), a couple of years at best. That is if he can even find his way back to the grid. There’s no assurance of that. There’s no assurance he will rediscover his love either.
2 months into the year, Ricciardo is still ‘happy to wait’ before even getting back into testing action for Red Bull. As per The Race, he said: “Let’s say I’m definitely keen to have a crack [at the tests] just even to kind of stay race fit if you will so that the body doesn’t go into complete shock when it hits 5g. But if there was a test tomorrow, I’m still good, I’m still happy to have a bit more time off.”
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Daniel Ricciardo ‘still happy to ease into 2023’
As mentioned before, there’s no assurance that Daniel Ricciardo will rediscover that ‘intense’ love for Formula 1. However, he is ‘sure’ that he’ll be up to get back into action again. But right now, he’s trying not to think about it too much. He does admit another thing – he feels he’s had ‘close to enough time off’ now. Well, the season starts in just around a month. So perhaps, he will be ready by that time.
Ricciardo said: “As the year progresses, I’m sure I’ll put my hand up but I’m not kind of foaming at the mouth yet. Still happy to ease into 2023. I’m still taking it as a day-by-day approach, I’m trying not to put too much stress on it. I know being here at the launch does excite me and it’s a cool feeling. But I’m also really happy to be taking the year I’m taking. At least currently where I sit. It does really feel right. I feel like the holiday is winding down, I feel like I’ve had close to enough time off.”
He also added that he’ll get back more into a ‘regime’ and ‘training and stuff’ after his visit to the Super Bowl, which is next weekend. Ricciardo will surely be in action for Red Bull a few times during the season, and his very loyal and large fanbase will be looking forward to that. But the real question in everyone’s minds will be if he really can make his way back onto the grid. It’s definitely not going to be easy. As Mika Hakkinen put it, he did not leave on his own terms.
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