McLaren admits they could snatch Daniel Ricciardo back from Mercedes in 2024

Daniel Ricciardo is set to become Mercedes' reserve driver for 2023, with fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri replacing him at McLaren.

McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo have not shared the fairy tale return to the top that they would have hoped for over the past two years.

The Australian did perform a minor miracle in Monza last year, spearheading a McLaren one-two finish with Lando Norris as the team dominated the Italian Grand Prix, however that proved to be a one off, as Ricciardo’s performances have been below par apart from that weekend.

The team made the difficult decision earlier in the season to replace Ricciardo with Oscar Piastri next year, believing that they had tried everything to get the best out of the 33-year-old, but the effort from both ends unfortunately just was not paying dividends.

The eight-time race winner has turned down the chance to race in F1 next year with Haas or Williams, instead formulating a plan to return to the grid in 2024 with a front running team, which involves biding his time as a reserve driver in 2023.

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It has been heavily rumoured that Ricciardo will either complete a dream return to Red Bull as their reserve driver, or join up with Toto Wolff, who was recently spotted wearing his clothing range, at Mercedes.

At the eleventh hour it seems like McLaren might be trying to keep the Australian around, with rumours emerging that he might take up a role at the team for a year before searching for a 2024 race seat.

Team principal Andreas Seidl was asked about the possibility Ricciardo staying with the team in 2023, in which he claimed that nothing has been discussed about their reserve driver role yet.

“That’s a discussion we didn’t have yet,” he stated.

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“It’s a discussion we would usually have in the winter. As you know as well, we have an agreement in place with other teams as well in order to share reserve drivers,” he continued.

“Again, there is absolutely no hard or bad feelings between Daniel and us and therefore anything is possible.

“I don’t want to go into any speculation of what he is doing next but in the end, whatever he is doing next, wherever he is a driver next, that’s exactly what his next team or employer will get – a great driver.”

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With McLaren only seven points behind Alpine in the constructors’ championship, Seidl has told reporters that the team are focused on the final two races before saying goodbye to Ricciardo.

“It is clear with Daniel leaving the team, we are losing not just a great driver but also a great personality and he will be deeply missed in the team.

“That is why we are both committed to making sure that in these last races we are doing together, that we are still trying to put in some good performances in order to finish our journey together on a high.”