Daniel Ricciardo issues F1 return update as he makes his intentions clear

Daniel Ricciardo has claimed he is only eyeing a return to a 'top team' in Formula 1.

Former Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has claimed he is keen on a return to Formula 1, but reiterated his desire for that return to be with a ‘top team’.

The Australian driver is without a seat for the 2023 season after leaving McLaren at the end of 2022 following an underwhelming two years for the most part.

Despite leading the team to victory at the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, Ricciardo ultimately failed to establish himself as the number one driver in a struggling McLaren team that did not provide a car, and often found himself off the pace of teammate Lando Norris.

Being without a seat for 2023 was the culmination of his struggles after leaving Red Bull in 2020 after looking for a fresh start as the number one driver in a new team, but the eight-time Grand Prix winner is clear in his desire to return to the grid, at the top of the tree.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Ricciardo discussed his ambitions at the Australian Grand Prix, saying: “I’m even in a position now, only a few months removed from last season, where if I get back on the grid next year I already have things that I want to do different and it’s quite cool. I wouldn’t have had that if I was still in the race car.

“One thing I want to get out of this year is I want to know what I want, but I also want to know what I don’t want, and I think I can already answer that.

“I don’t want to go back to ground zero. I don’t want to just be on the grid [in order] to be on the grid and struggle in 18th place. So I don’t want to be on the grid at any cost.”

READ: Alpine developing ‘further upgrades’ while stockpiling spare parts for Azerbaijan GP

Article continues below

Despite being clear in his desires to return to the grid at the top, the 33-year-old admitted that it is ‘harder to just jump straight into a top team in terms of availability’ and appreciated that the stakes are higher, but maintained that returning to the top is his goal.

Ricciardo is currently serving as Red Bull’s reserve driver for the 2023 season, deputising for former teammate Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, with the pair comfortable at the front of the pack due to an extremely strong start to the season.

Aston Martin have been the only team able to get close to challenging Red Bull, who have seen their drivers win all three races so far in 2023.