Daniel Ricciardo says he’s ‘not too proud’ to accept reserve role in 2023

Daniel Ricciardo is set to be replaced by Oscar Piastri in 2023.

Daniel Ricciardo would be open to being a reserve driver next season if it helped his chances of being on the Formula 1 grid in 2024.

The Australian has struggled to find form since he arrived at McLaren last season, and the tricky car has been a nightmare for him to adapt to.

When he has found the groove, he has produced performances like the one that saw him win the Italian Grand Prix last season, but that constitutes his only Papaya podium.

The 33-year-old has been outperformed by team-mate Lando Norris, to whom CEO Zak Brown conceded earlier this season that he would like Ricciardo to be “closer.”

READ: Daniel Ricciardo caught revealing 2023 plan to fellow F1 racer

The two parties had seemed set on keeping their partnership until the end of the eight-time race winner’s contract next season, but the British side have now signed Alpine reserve, Oscar Piastri.

There is therefore no room for Ricciardo next year, and the team informed him during the summer break that they wanted to make a change.

By mutual consent, the former Red Bull and Renault driver will leave at the end of the season, and he currently does not have another team to go to.

He was initially linked with his former Enstone team, but Renault CEO Luca de Meo is said to be unhappy with the way Ricciardo left in 2020, and Alpine look set on signing Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri.

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This would leave a spot available at the Red Bull junior side, for whom Ricciardo drove in 2012 and 2013, while Zhou Guanyu, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi are all out of contract at the end of the season.

Haas team principal, Guenther Steiner, was reported to have contacted Ricciardo over the summer, but this is unconfirmed by either party.

Even were a spot to open up at AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Haas or Williams going into next year, there is no guarantee they would take Ricciardo on as their driver.

Further, the 32-time podium finisher wants to have a competitive drive in 2023, so his options are very limited.

Ricciardo is aware that there is a chance he will not be in the paddock next year, but he will do everything in his power to return in 2024.

“If it means I’m not on the grid next year, I will still certainly try to find a way to be on there in 2024, it’s honestly the only racing I’m really interested in at the moment,” he told CODE Sports.

Mercedes currently have Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne in their ranks as reserve drivers, but Ricciardo has been linked with a similar position within the German outfit.

The McLaren driver affirmed that such an arrangement is not beneath him.

“There are pros with having some time off as well, the last 18 months have been more challenging than not, so maybe some time away would do me good,” added Ricciardo.

READ: Kevin Magnussen opens up Daniel Ricciardo replacing Mick Schumacher

“But then obviously staying active in here is good, so that’s why I want to hear everything. 

“Even if it’s reserve, I don’t want to be too proud to say, ‘I’m too good for that,’ I just want to hear everything and see what makes sense.”

Ricciardo made his Formula 1 debut with HRT at the 2011 British Grand Prix, and has entered another 224 grand prix since.