Daniel Ricciardo makes retirement admission

Daniel Ricciardo's F1 career looked like it was over after McLaren terminated his contract to sign Oscar Piastri.

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he pondered whether to retire or not following the conclusion of the 2022 season, which brought his turbulent time with McLaren to an end.

The AlphaTauri driver revealed during last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that “it was 50/50” as to whether the 2022 finale would be his last race in Formula 1, given the way he was feeling.

Ricciardo had fallen out of love with F1 and felt like he needed time away, which is why he accepted the development driver role with Red Bull.

He felt like Red Bull was the right place to try and rediscover his love for F1, before hopefully returning to the grid in 2024.

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

Of course, his return came much sooner than he ever expected, after he was chosen as the driver to replace the axed Nyck de Vries after the British Grand Prix.

Ricciardo didn’t turn down the opportunity and performed valiantly, to the point that he was immediately challenging teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

However, the 34-year-old found himself back on the bench after Free Practice at the Dutch Grand Prix, where he fractured a metacarpal in his left hand.

This resulted in him missing several races, before eventually returning at the United States Grand Prix.

Article continues below

To his relief, he was just as quick once he returned to racing for the second time and played a key role in helping AlphaTauri claim eighth in the Constructors’ Championship.

He did so well in fact, that he was given a deal to remain at the Faenza-based side in 2024.

READ: Liam Lawson to take huge Red Bull ‘gamble’

Whilst McLaren terminating his contract has ultimately worked out in his favour, Ricciardo’s current future could look so different had he made a different decision after the 2022 finale.

“Sitting here a year ago, I was like ‘could this be my last race?’” Ricciardo told media including PlanetF1.com at the season finale. “I don’t exaggerate when I say that. I really didn’t know. I honestly thought it was 50/50.

“So to have the year I’ve had and forget the hand [injury]. I just kind of feel a little bit reborn again. I feel re-energised and I’ve definitely got a second wind.”