Ricciardo would consider a reserve seat to stay in F1

SYDNEY: Daniel Ricciardo is determined that this season will not spell the end of his Formula One career and said he would even consider a role as reserve driver for next year.

The Australian parted ways with McLaren last week and has previously said he may take time off from the series for the 2023 season if the right position doesn’t materialize.

In an interview with Australian website The Core on Monday, the 33-year-old said he would explore all options to stay in Formula One.

“The fire in my stomach is still there. It hasn’t gone away,” he said.

“There are advantages to having some time off…but then of course it’s good to stay active here.

“That’s why I want to hear everything. While 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.”

The Australian won’t need a job for the money having been bought out of the last year of his multi-million dollar contract at McLaren.

Some media reports have linked Ricciardo to a reserve drive behind Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at Mercedes.

Several teams have yet to confirm their line-ups for next season, including Ricciardo’s former employers Alpine, which is owned by Renault.

Another option could be Ferrari-powered Haas, who let Mick Schumacher out of contract at the end of the year.

Ricciardo said there was no need to make an immediate decision and he likely won’t start evaluating his options until after the Japanese Grand Prix in early October.

“I still want to be on the starting line-up. It may not be at any cost, but I definitely want to still be,” he said.

“I’ve been tested for sure over the last few years. But I’m proud to say I didn’t break. And that’s why I still love it.”

Ricciardo finished 17th in Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix but has another chance to show his talent next weekend at Monza, where he clinched the last of his eight career race wins last year.