Daniel Ricciardo has accepted the prospect of not finding an F1 seat for 2023 and insists he is not “cocky” about his future in the sport.
It leaves Ricciardo currently without a drive next year, with options limited, and the 33-year-old himself hasn’t ruled out taking a year sabbatical away from the sport after eleven-and-a-half straight seasons.
There is currently a vacant seat at Alpine - though Ricciardo’s departure from Renault at the end of 2020 means a return is unlikely - while Haas could also be an option should Mick Schumacher’s contract at the team not be renewed.
Yet Ricciardo conceded he may not find a seat for next year, saying: “I’ve certainly accepted if I’m not to be on the grid next year, I’m okay with that.
“I’ve accepted that I’m not going to do everything, or my team’s not going to do everything, just to put me on the grid if it’s not right or doesn’t make sense.
“Obviously, this is challenging and if I am on the grid then I want to know that it’s a place that I can enjoy it and feel I can thrive, an environment that I know I can thrive in.”
It has also been mooted that Ricciardo could take up a reserve role with a team such as Mercedes next year.
“I don’t want to just jump in a car for the sake of it,” he added. “Days like [Italian GP, where Ricciardo retired from top 10] are certainly pretty frustrating but I’ll get over it and try to understand what’s best for next year.
“As I said, not in an overconfident or cocky way, if it’s not meant to be then I’m totally okay with that. I’m not going to be too proud. We certainly haven’t given up on it but that’s where my head’s at at the moment.”
With six races left of the 2022 season left Ricciardo is 14th in the Drivers Championship, 69 points behind teammate Norris.