With six races remaining, Daniel Ricciardo’s future is no closer to being decided, with the 33-year-old still unsure on what he wants to do in 2023.
The Honey Badger’s torrid time at McLaren will, of course, come to an end at the conclusion of this season, with the Aussie and the Woking-based team having mutually decided to split rather than continue next year.
Ricciardo was contracted with McLaren for 2023; however, after 18 months of poor performances (excluding his Italian Grand Prix victory last year) it seems like the right thing to leave the British team.
The much-loved driver is being replaced by a fellow Australian, 21-year-old Oscar Piastri.
There are plenty of rumours going around as to what Ricciardo might do in 2023, with the choice seemingly between taking a one-year hiatus or pursuing interest from Haas.
Ricciardo has “accepted” the possibility of sitting out for a year before attempting a comeback in 2024, with a number of drivers set to be without a contract at the end of next season.
However, the outgoing McLaren driver did speak to Haas team principal Guenther Steiner prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix about a possible move.
It is known that Haas are interested in the Aussie replacing Mick Schumacher, who only has a “50/50 chance” of being retained himself.
The Americans have seemingly halted any discussions with Ricciardo, though, with the Australian unsure if he wants to take a year out or race next season.
Steiner has admitted that Ricciardo must decide what he wants to do first, with it making “little sense” trying to sign the eight-time GP winner should he not even want to race.
“In his situation, Daniel first has to decide for himself what he does,” Steiner told RTL.
“It makes little sense to persuade him to do something, he has to decide for himself.
“If he feels like it, he will certainly call, otherwise he will probably say, ‘I’ll do a sabbatical or something else’.”
The Australian seems to be torn between both options; however, he did reveal on the Fitzy and Wippa radio show that he “wants to be on the grid”, so perhaps talks between himself and Haas might take a step forward.
“When I say I don’t know, I don’t have a contract yet for next year,” Ricciardo said during an interview with Fitzy and Wippa.
“Could it still happen? It could. I guess I’m not getting too caught up in next year. Of course I want to race, I want to be on the grid, I want to be competing.
“But I’m not kind of seeing next year as all or nothing. Obviously 2024 is something I want to be aware of and look at.
“So that’s kind of where I’m like, if it means taking a step back to then take two steps forward, then that’s what we’re trying to figure out at the moment, me and my team. So that could be a year off.”