Ricciardo is too talented to be a reserve, says Hamilton

MONZA, Italy: Daniel Ricciardo should drive in Formula One next season rather than take on a reserve role, Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday (September 8) amid speculation the Australian could join him at Mercedes after leaving McLaren Has.

Ricciardo, 33, is leaving McLaren a year early by mutual consent and told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix that he was keeping his options open for next year and beyond.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton, sitting next to the eight-time Grand Prix winner at a scheduled press conference in Monza, said he wanted to keep Ricciardo on the grid.

“I think he should be racing personally. He’s far too talented (to be a reserve). He’s earned the right to race among all of us,” said the 37-year-old, who clarified that he didn’t Plans had withdraw and open a place.

“Of course, if he’s part of our team, then great. But this role isn’t nearly the best for him.

“If I managed him, he would race.”

Ricciardo won at Monza last year but has generally struggled since joining McLaren, outperformed by teammate Lando Norris.

The team have announced 21-year-old Australian Oscar Piastri, currently reserve for Renault’s Alpine and McLaren, as his successor.

“I still don’t know what next year looks like,” said Ricciardo. “I want to be on the grid, I want to race.”

The Australian said earlier in the week he wanted to hear everything.

“Even though it’s reticent, I don’t want to be too proud to say, ‘I’m too good for that.’ I just want to hear and see anything that makes sense,” he told Australian website The Core.