Daniel Ricciardo opens up on potentially his final race in Formula 1

McLaren decided to replace Daniel Ricciardo with Oscar Piastri in 2023, leaving the former Red Bull driver without a seat.

Daniel Ricciardo will be wondering where it all went wrong for him in his career, as he has failed to find his true form at both Alpine and Renault since leaving Red Bull.

The Australian has been significantly outscored by his teammate Lando Norris in both his years at McLaren, even being lapped by the young Brit in Monaco.

After a dramatic legal tussle with Alpine, McLaren decided to terminate Ricciardo’s contract a year early and appoint Oscar Piastri for 2023, with both parties claiming that they have explored every avenue to try and make the relationship work to no avail.

Ricciardo has explained that his plan for the future involves taking a reserve driver role for 2023 to keep himself ticking over, with the aim of returning to the F1 grid in 2024, with Red Bull and Mercedes being the rumoured destinations for his year away from the grid.

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The 33-year-old has explained that he could have taken a seat at Haas or Williams, but his desire to win races did not line up with the aims of these teams, so he instead opted to take a year out with the intention of joining a top team in 2024.

All the current drivers at the top teams are currently tied down to multi-year contracts, and with Lewis Hamilton set to sign a long term contract extension at Mercedes, rumours have begun to emerge suggesting that Ricciardo may never get the chance at a top team that he dreams of. 

The Australian has admitted that he does not know what the future holds, as nothing is set in stone, and has claimed that he is going into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend half thinking about if it could be his last ever race in F1.

“I know that nothing’s guaranteed in the future, so I’m going out to enjoy it, I’m not going to get too, let’s say, emotional about the thought that, ‘oh, is it the last one or not?”

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“I do want to enjoy it and take it for what it is,” said Ricciardo

The fan favourite captured the hearts of F1 fans during Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’, as his humorous personality shone through, but this year the eight-time race winner has seemed a shadow of his usual self.

Ricciardo has revealed that he has had to enlist the help of a psychologist to prevent his F1 woes from affecting his personal life, as he struggles to get to grips with why he can not perform at McLaren at the levels he knows he is capable of.