Despite being at threat of not racing in Formula 1 next season, Daniel Ricciardo appears somewhat unbothered by the ongoing rumours surrounding his career, after being snapped smiling in a swimming pool on holiday.
According to ESPN, Ricciardo was told by team principal Andreas Seidl after the Hungarian Grand Prix that he will be replaced by Alpine F1 Team reserve driver Oscar Piastri in 2023.
The Australian finished P15 at the Hungaroring, in what has been a challenging first half of the season for the 33-year-old.
Ricciardo has struggled getting to grips with the new generation of Formula 1 cars, and has been a regular non-points finisher.
It’s seen his position at McLaren questioned throughout the entire year so far, with it finally looking all but certain that he’ll be replaced for 2023.
Despite being contracted with McLaren for next season, it’s believed that the team will pay Ricciardo to relinquish his seat for Piastri.
Supposedly, Ricciardo has rejected the chance to race for McLaren in Formula E next season, after being set on remaining at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Worrying about where he’ll be next season doesn’t seem to be a priority for Ricciardo at the moment, with the Australian posting a smiling shot of himself on Instagram, in his first post since the summer break began.
His post had a simple caption of “Hello”.
With a seat available at Alpine for 2023, Ricciardo might be considering a switch back to the Enstone-based side, formerly known as Renault.
It’s unknown how well that would go down with Enstone’s management, given the way he left the team at the end of 2020.
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer thinks Ricciardo is a “good recommendation”; however, it’s been reported that as many as 14 drivers are on Alpine’s wish list.
“I mean, if you look at Fernando, for example, he comes and goes, and I think that happens to other drivers too,” said Szafnauer.
“And I don’t think that’s an issue at all. I think what we need to focus on is, like I say, the plans that we have for the next 89-88 races. We’ve got to make sure that we complement that plan with the best driver that we can, and there are some options out there for us.
“And we put the best driver in next to Esteban [Ocon], so that we can move forward towards what we’ve been planning.”