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Ricciardo “really excited” for time off in 2023

The Australian is looking forward to not competing for the first time since he was eight

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In 2023, for the first time in over ten years, Daniel Ricciardo won’t be a Formula 1 driver.

Ricciardo Red Bull Formula 1
Ricciardo (right) at the Red Bull livery launch event in New York City (Image Credit: @redbullracing on Twitter)

For most drivers, it would be a struggle, and for sure it hasn’t been easy for the Australian, who found himself out of a seat after two tough years at McLaren.

But now that he has secured a Red Bull reserve role for 2023, Ricciardo seems very at peace with his new role and is actually looking forward to having time on the sidelines.

“I think once the season starts, and when I go to Melbourne and get to the race, then I don’t know if it’ll feel weird,” Ricciardo told Motor Sport Magazine. “Maybe then it’s different when the race is actually going and I’m watching. But you know, I’ve had first lap accidents before where I’ve watched the race on the sidelines! So it’s all good.

“I really am excited just for what this year is going to bring. And even spending more time at home over Christmas was nice, just getting time with family that you don’t always get and I think the older you get, the more you value that stuff. So that’s really important to me.

“Just knowing that this year I’ll have more of those opportunities will be nice. And then maybe that’s the reset that I need to then be like ‘Alright, 2024. let’s go’.”

Hoping for the chance to race?

When asked if he was looking forward to getting to actually fulfil some reserve duties in 2023, Ricciardo seemed content to stay out of the car, at least for now.

“No, I’m happy, not [hoping for a call-up] anytime soon – if they’re gonna catch a cold, maybe later in the season! But I really do feel at ease and happy with kind of just not taking the first few months of the year seriously. I would probably be a month into serious bootcamp already. So I feel like I’ve already had an extra month off, if I was to start training vigorously today.

“So even that I just feel kind of nice about it. And I know it will call me back and the training and all that desire and whatever, but it’s nice not to put pressure on it or force it. I think it will happen naturally. And all of those things will happen over time.”

In terms of looking to other teams for a Formula 1 seat, Ricciardo says he isn’t, and that he’s really just looking for some good time off.

“I think from a driving point of view, there may be a chance to do a tyre test or something in the F1 car, but other than that, I’m more just looking at having time off for now. I’m not trying to pursue a seat elsewhere.

“Just the thought of not competing is kind of nice. I’ve been doing it since I was eight so, it’s still what I love but the time off is what’s really exciting me and going dirt bike riding with some friends or something is probably more of an interest right now. Just to kind of give myself that space.”

Will Ricciardo get the call-up in 2023, or find a seat for 2024? Or has he become content with the way his Formula 1 career has ended?

Feature Image Credit: @redbullracing on Twitter

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