Ricciardo ‘in talks with Merc & Red Bull’ | Wolff: He’d bring personality


Daniel Ricciardo is without an F1 seat for next season after having his McLaren contract terminated a year early following a second disappointing campaign with the team; Mercedes and Red Bull appear to be the most likely landing spots for the Australian as a reserve driver in 2023

Last Updated: 07/11/22 10:11am

Daniel Ricciardo is set to remain in F1 as a reserve driver next season Daniel Ricciardo is set to remain in F1 as a reserve driver next season

Daniel Ricciardo is set to remain in F1 as a reserve driver next season

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says “great character” Daniel Ricciardo is in talks with both his team and Red Bull over a 2023 reserve driver role.

Ricciardo is without a seat for next season, with the Australian set to leave McLaren after having his contract terminated a year early following a second disappointing campaign with the British team.

Ricciardo was linked with several seats with teams expected to be at the back of the grid but has hinted he prefers the prospect of joining a front-runner as a reserve driver, with a view to sealing a return to a strong car in 2024.

“I think Daniel is speaking to a few teams about a potential role, also Red Bull,” Wolff said when quizzed about Ricciardo ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix.

“For us, we very much like him, he’s a great character but we are not in a position yet who is going to be our third driver.”

Ricciardo shares his plans and aims for the future after finishing seventh in the Mexico City GP.

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Ricciardo shares his plans and aims for the future after finishing seventh in the Mexico City GP.

Ricciardo shares his plans and aims for the future after finishing seventh in the Mexico City GP.

The 33-year-old has endured a tough time since his 2018 departure from Red Bull, where he claimed seven of his eight career victories during five years with the team.

He spent two largely unsuccessful seasons with Renault before switching to McLaren, where he has been consistently outperformed by team-mate Lando Norris, despite claiming the team’s only race victory since 2012 at last year’s Italian GP.

While his stock as a driver has undoubtedly dropped at McLaren, Ricciardo’s larger-than-life personality has established him as one of the sport’s most popular individuals, increasing his value as a reserve option for potential suitors.

Jenson Button believes people forget how good a driver Ricciardo is and feels he should drop down to a lower ranked team, rather than take a year out from Formula One.

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Jenson Button believes people forget how good a driver Ricciardo is and feels he should drop down to a lower ranked team, rather than take a year out from Formula One.

Jenson Button believes people forget how good a driver Ricciardo is and feels he should drop down to a lower ranked team, rather than take a year out from Formula One.

Asked what Ricciardo could bring to Mercedes, Wolff said: “Personality, and he’s been around for a long time.

“He knows these cars inside out so that could be really advantageous.

“But I don’t want to put any rumours out there because we haven’t decided.”

Ricciardo offered a reminder of his talents as he secured a brilliant seventh-place finish in Mexico, despite receiving a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Ricciardo finally completed the overtake on Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu, while Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly hit each other on the same straight.

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Ricciardo finally completed the overtake on Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, while Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly hit each other on the same straight.

Ricciardo finally completed the overtake on Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, while Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly hit each other on the same straight.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, he reiterated his expectation that he will not have a seat next season.

“I can confidently say that I won’t be on the grid behind a wheel [next year],” Ricciardo said.

“But I still want to be in the sport, and I want to be working with a team still with the ambition to be back on the grid in 2024.

“I feel like a bit of time away from a race seat will do me good, and then try to rebuild on something for 2024.

“I’m not done but it will look a bit different.”

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