Toto Wolff claims Daniel Ricciardo in talks with Mercedes and Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix despite having been awarded a 10-second time penalty.

After weeks of speculation, outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo finally confirmed that he won’t be on the grid in 2023, but that he “will be” somewhere in the paddock.

The comments by the Australian come after what was perhaps his best performance of the year at the Mexican Grand Prix, where he rose from 12th to seventh in the final 20 laps.

McLaren opted to run Ricciardo long on the Mediums in his opening stint, which allowed him to run the Soft compound in the closing stages of the race.

This meant the 33-year-old had a huge speed and grip advantage over those ahead of him, which resulted in the Honey Badger claiming a brilliant P7.

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He did make one almost costly error, though, as Ricciardo was awarded a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision with Yuki Tsunoda.

Ricciardo hit the Japanese driver at Turn Six which forced Tsunoda into retirement, whilst he too was looking for a points finish.

With the 10-second penalty hanging over him, Ricciardo got to work and flew past Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas, and both Alpine drivers.

Unbelievably, Ricciardo was so fast that in the final few laps of the race he built a gap of over 10-seconds to Esteban Ocon in eighth, meaning the fan-favourite kept seventh place.

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It has left many wondering where Ricciardo has been all year, after being so blisteringly fast at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

After the race, Ricciardo revealed that he won’t be a full-time F1 driver in 2023 but that he does have “ambitious goals” for 2024, with a reserve role looking likely for next season.

“I won’t be on the starting grid next year, but I will be here because I have ambitious goals for 2024,” Ricciardo said in Mexico.

According to reports, Ricciardo is in talks with both Mercedes and Red Bull, with both seemingly eager to get hold of someone as experienced as the eight-time GP winner.

The Aussie admitted that talks are “ongoing”, but that his priority is to “return” in 2024.

“Discussions are ongoing, but nothing has been signed yet,” Ricciardo said.

“Nothing is guaranteed for 2024, but I will do everything I can to return.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff actually confirmed himself that the Brackley-based team are talking to Ricciardo, with the Germans in need of a new reserve driver following the departure of Nyck de Vries.

Wolff revealed that Ricciardo is “also” in discussions with his former team, but that the Germans see the “advantage” of signing the Aussie.

“Also with Red Bull Racing,” said the Mercedes boss.

“For us, we think he’s a great character. But we are not yet ready to say who our third driver will be next season.

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“His personality is an absolute strength, and Daniel has been with us for a long time – he knows these cars inside out.

“That can definitely be an advantage.

“But I don’t want to start any rumours here, because the truth is that we haven’t decided yet.”