Daniel Ricciardo breaks silence on NASCAR rumour

Daniel Ricciardo is tipped for a 2023 move to Mercedes to become their test and reserve driver.

Daniel Ricciardo’s time as a Formula 1 driver is perhaps on the verge of ending, with the outgoing McLaren driver just two races away from his 2023 sabbatical.

It is no shock that Ricciardo is set for a year on the side-lines, after two woeful seasons at the Woking-based team.

His victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix certainly covers over some of the cracks that have been appearing since last season, with his performances having failed to improve this year.

In actual fact, the recent Mexican Grand Prix was by far his best race of the season, after storming through the field to claim seventh.

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He’s made it well-known that his plan is to return to full-time F1 in 2024; however, whether this happens is another question.

His plans for 2023 appear to involve a lot of time with Mercedes, as reports suggest that the 33-year-old is set to sign for the Silver Arrows to become their new test and reserve driver.

This is against what a lot of fans have been asking him to do, with many wanting the Aussie to venture into the United States and take up NASCAR.

Whilst this is an unlikely switch for the Honey Badger, he admitted that it can’t be “completely” ruled out.

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“The truth is that I wouldn’t completely rule it out,” said Ricciardo.

“It’s not a definitive no.

“The ovals are close to definitively saying no, but some road course stuff in NASCAR or something, I wouldn’t completely rule it out.

“I know I’m not getting any younger but I would still say not yet.”

Ricciardo truly has a desire to return to F1 in 2024, which is meaning he’s “not ready to commit” to another series elsewhere.

Getting a seat in 2024 is set to be a real challenge, though, with no top seats set to be available, with the only option set to realistically be at Haas for the Aussie.

Whilst seats at Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri would be an option, it’s incredibly unlikely they’d take Ricciardo.

“It’s really that I still have my sights set on F1 and staying in F1, albeit with some time off next year,” the Aussie added.

“So I’m probably, also personally, not ready to commit to exploring that.

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“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool fairytale kind of thing of racing in America. I know I would love all of it.

“But I feel like in this paddock I feel very American. If I go into a NASCAR paddock, I’m the least American person there is.

“It’s funny. We’ll see.”