Daniel Ricciardo is a fan favourite in Formula 1, with his infectious laughter and always high spirits inspiring fans all over the world.
The Australian was a star of the Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’, with his mischievous antics and jokester attitude entertaining viewers each season.
However, it appears increasingly likely that the 33-year-old will not be gracing our screens next year, with the eight time race winner having his contract terminated at McLaren, to be replaced by youngster Oscar Piastri.
Ricciardo’s performances over the past two seasons with McLaren have failed to impress, with the fan favourite Aussie being consistently out-qualified and out-scored by teammate Lando Norris.
It has now been revealed by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown that his driver will most likely choose to not be on the grid for next year, despite two seats, at Haas and Williams, still remaining vacant.
“He probably could have driven for Williams or Haas is my guess,” he told RacingNews365.com.
“I’m speculating that he doesn’t want to drive for a team that’s ninth or tenth in the championship, which I understand, given his pedigree. But hopefully he’ll come back in 2024,” Brown continued.
With Ricciardo fighting for wins at Red Bull, and podiums being the goal while at Renault and McLaren, it is understandable why the Australian would struggle to see himself at the back of the grid, fighting for points with Williams or Haas.
“I think like everyone’s bummed he won’t be on the grid, because he’s great for the sort and he wants to race,” said Ricciardo’s current boss, Zak Brown, when asked about the decision.
While he might not be one of the 20 drivers on the grid next season, it does not seem that Ricciardo will consider retiring.
It has been widely reported that the 33-year-old will opt to become a test and reserve driver at a top team like Mercedes, with eagle eyed fans spotting Ricciardo telling Red Bull driver Sergio Perez at the Dutch Grand Prix, “I’ll take a year off, then I’ll be back in 2024.”