Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he has spoken to Oscar Piastri, who will take over at McLaren next year, and is open to a reserve role to stay in Formula 1.
It was announced during the summer break that the Australian and his team had mutually agreed to terminate his contract at the end of the current season, with one year remaining for 2023.
The Woking-based team have since announced fellow Australian and consecutive Formula 2 and Formula 3 world champion Oscar Piastri as their replacement despite a contractual dispute with Alpine.
The news didn’t come as a huge surprise, with Ricciardo struggling heavily in McLaren’s papaya colors since his 2021 move, unable to keep pace with teammate Lando Norris.
Since the announcement, the pressure hasn’t let up on the 33-year-old who finished 15th in Belgium and 17th at the Dutch Grand Prix last time out.
Speaking to the media after the race, he opened up on his current situation and revealed he has since spoken to his 21-year-old replacement Piastri.
“Yeah, it was nice talking to her,” he said. “I spoke to Oscar to be honest just to make sure there are no bad feelings there.
“I understand how it works and he’s trying to do that, he’s trying to get into Formula 1 and that moment should also be very important for him and I don’t want to make it a bad situation for him.
“He knows it’s nothing personal so that’s the whole conversation and I really wish him the best of luck and I want him to get up and work in Formula 1 so it’s just the circumstances and that’s like that, but I still love him very much and respect him.
He added: “We spoke and obviously I wanted to wish him well.
“What we said is private, but I don’t mind saying I wanted to tell him there’s no hard feelings, because if there’s no communication, you never know what someone feels or thinks.
“He’s a lot younger than me and I don’t know how he feels if he’s nervous to reach out and see how I’m doing, obviously I wanted to make sure it’s clear that I understand his position. and there are absolutely no hard feelings.
“It was good and I think it made him feel better because the last thing he wanted was to have a bit of tension between some of the only Australians there in the sport, so I I’m glad we did that.”
Ricciardo has said he only wants to continue racing if it’s in F1, but his options appear to be drying up with news that Pierre Gasly is set to take on Fernando Alonso’s vacancy at Alpine, blocking a return from Ricciardo at Enstone.
Haas has not currently signed a driver for next year to race alongside Kevin Magnussen, with Mick Schumacher still battling for the spot, and the same can be said for Williams who has Alex Albon under contract, but not Nicholas. Latifi.
Ricciardo has spent much of his career as a leader, however, showing championship-winning potential with Red Bull and securing an impressive fifth-place finish with Renault in 2020.
When asked if he would consider a reserve role for a top side next season, the Perth native was far from ruling it out.
“I’m pretty open-minded with any scenario,” he said.
“I think there are pros and cons to all of this. There are also benefits to having time off, currently the 18 months I’ve had have been more difficult than otherwise, so maybe some time off would be good.
“But staying active is good too. That’s why I want to hear everything. Even if it’s a reserve, I don’t want to be too proud to say that I’m too good for it.
“I just want to hear it all and see what makes sense. It could be something that prepares me better for the future and next year could be one of those years where I need a little patience.
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