Daniel Ricciardo admits he’s ‘talking’ after rumoured Red Bull return

Journalist Ted Kravitz revealed during qualifying at COTA that Daniel Ricciardo had signed with Red Bull for the 2023 season.

Daniel Ricciardo certainly isn’t enduring the best United States Grand Prix of his life, with the outgoing McLaren driver set to start from P16 for Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas.

The Honey Badger actually qualified in P17 but was promoted a position following a grid penalty for Zhou Guanyu after the Chinese driver exceeded his engine component limit following a change.

Despite what looks set to be a challenging race, the Aussie is seemingly just loving life being back at perhaps his favourite Grand Prix of the year, something which was demonstrated after he rode a horse into the paddock on Thursday.

Ricciardo’s days in the championship are looking increasingly numbered, with the 33-year-old having declared at the Japanese Grand Prix that a year on the bench next season is “what I need”.

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Following this, though, Sky Sports F1 journalist Ted Kravitz revealed during qualifying that Ricciardo had agreed to become a team’s reserve driver, and that it wasn’t Mercedes.

It was widely believed that Ricciardo had signed a deal to join the Germans next season as their reserve driver; however, with that out of the question, it looks highly likely that Ricciardo is set for a Red Bull reunion.

Kravitz suggested that very thing himself, but Ricciardo denied the idea after his early qualifying elimination.

“I don’t, I don’t. For now, everything is just rumours,” revealed Ricciardo.

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“Am I talking? Yes. But there’s no pen on paper or anything like that yet.”

The much-loved driver’s plan is seemingly to take a year out in 2023 before making a full-time return in 2024, something that is easier said than done.

Ricciardo explained that he’s going to “put work in to be back” in 2024, but that vitally, “nothing’s guaranteed”.

“So I won’t completely disconnect from the sport, but obviously nothing’s guaranteed for ’24,” he added.

“Like, I don’t have a seat that I can say I’m definitely going to be driving.

“But I’ll still be around and trying to put work in to be back.”

His best bet at remaining on the grid next season appeared to be at Haas, but he’s pushed himself away from a potential move to the Americans ever since his McLaren departure was announced.

Ricciardo did hint that Haas haven’t got a seat that interests him, with the Aussie preferring to “stick to the plan” of taking a year out of full-time racing.

“With what’s currently available, I feel like I’m better off sticking to the plan I have and aiming for something else,” added the Australian.

Whilst a full-time seat in F1 next season is off the cards, Ricciardo is forever being linked with a move to IndyCar, with fans sharing their thoughts endlessly that the Aussie would be a perfect fit for the series.

His love of the United States is one of the main reasons for that; however, it is very safe to say Ricciardo won’t be featuring in the American series anytime soon!

“F**k that. Ovals scare me,” Ricciardo answered, when asked if he’d consider moving to IndyCar.

“My Formula 1 career-slash-ambition is not over, so that’s really like first and foremost. I don’t want to deviate, I would say primarily for that reason. But also ovals, nah.

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“Ten years ago, I would have said yes. I’m OK to admit that I’m not OK with ovals.

“They look fun, but I think because I’m just not out of F1, I haven’t really entertained it,” said Ricciardo.

“The romanticising part of it, like America and all that, would be fun. But yeah. It’s more of a fantasy.”