Daniel Ricciardo admits he could walk away from F1 at the end of 2022

Formula 1 is the only series Daniel Ricciardo wants to race in.

Daniel Ricciardo is willing to take a one-year sabbatical to wait for the right opportunity to come along on the Formula 1 grid.

Ricciardo is currently without a seat for the 2023 campaign following McLaren’s decision to drop him a year before the expiration of his contract with the team.

While he’s likely to have options to join other teams, Alpine are the only ones with a seat available that would offer him a car as competitive as his current one.

Should they opt against making him an offer, his only options would be Haas and Williams, the bottom two of last year’s Constructors’ Championship. 

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He knows that he wants to stay in F1 though, and if there aren’t any opportunities he sees as good ones for 2023, he’s willing to take a year out and wait for one to come along for the 2024 campaign.

“If it made sense, yes,” he told reporters in Belgium when asked if he’d take a sabbatical.

“It’s the only racing I’m interested in at this stage of my career. F1 is what I love and it’s where I see myself if I’m doing any racing.

“But if the stars don’t align and it doesn’t make perfect sense next year (to join a new team) and it means taking that time off to reset and re-evaluate and that’s the right thing to do then I’m willing to.”

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The past two seasons have been perhaps the two most difficult of Ricciardo’s F1 career as he’s failed to consistently challenge team-mate Lando Norris.

Due to those struggles, he’s often cut a despondent figure in the paddock after races, seeming a shadow of his usual happy-go-lucky self.

Given that, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s lost his love for F1 and is ready to walk away from the sport, but that’s not the case.

That being said, he doesn’t want to be on the grid just to make up the number.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo to return to Alpine?

In fact, while he would almost certainly be able to find a seat in Formula E or IndyCar for example, he has no interest in driving in any other series.

“I still love the sport,” he said.

“Through all this adversity I haven’t lost confidence in myself. For sure we’ve had some tough weekends – and you can’t help but show emotions sometimes – but I still love it and I still want to do it competitively and in the right place.

“I never wanted to be a driver to just make up the numbers, if I’m here I want to be here for a purpose. So I don’t know what that means yet, for the future. But of course if it’s the right opportunity this is where I want to be.”