Daniel Ricciardo: Outgoing McLaren driver hints at 2023 F1 reserve role
Daniel Ricciardo is set to miss out on a seat in F1 next season after having his contract with McLaren terminated a year early; Ricciardo insists he will "be around", amid speculation he could take a reserve role with Red Bull or Mercedes
Last Updated: 24/10/22 3:40pm
Daniel Ricciardo has dropped a strong hint he will be a reserve driver in Formula 1 next season, insisting he is not "going away" from the sport despite having not claimed a seat for 2023.
The Australian, who is leaving McLaren at the end of the season after in August having his contract terminated a year early followingly hugely underwhelming performances on the track, was initially linked with several F1 drives for 2023.
However, with all but Haas' second seat now filled and Ricciardo out of contention for that role, the only position that could keep him in the sport next year would be a reserve driver role.
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"I'll be around, don't worry," Ricciardo said ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
"Look, the situation with McLaren, it was hard to prepare for that.
"We've put a plan together. We're still working on it."
Ricciardo has been linked to reserve roles with Mercedes and his former team Red Bull, while his comments appear to hint at a link-up with a team at the front end of the grid.
"Ultimately I want to be back up the front of the grid, I want to fight for wins, I want to do everything I feel I'm capable of," he added.
"Next year will look a bit different, but it's honestly just trying to set myself up for that, let's say in the long term.
"So I'm not going away, that's all you need to know, I'll be here."
Ricciardo: 'Painful an understatement' for Texas struggles
Ricciardo endured another hugely disappointing weekend at Austin's Circuit of The Americas, as he was knocked out in the first part of qualifying before finishing 16th in the race, almost 40 seconds behind his team-mate Lando Norris in sixth.
The result left Ricciardo 80 points behind Norris in the drivers' championship, while his inability to match the Brit's performances has seen McLaren fall six points behind Alpine in the race for fourth in the constructors' championship.
Ricciardo was left at perhaps the lowest ebb he has been all season following the race.
"I have no idea what to say," he said. "Honestly, it's 2022. It's been the year that it's been. Just so far off the pace, that I simply can't lean on it, can't push, can't get the time out of it.
"To have such a big margin again, it remains a mystery.
"I love Texas, I love Austin but that race itself for me was not enjoyable. When you think it can't get worse, it does.
"I don't know how I'm continuing to continue, because painful is an understatement."