Daniel Ricciardo 'accepts' 2023 sabbatical but won't 'give up on F1'

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Daniel Ricciardo has "accepted" the possibility he will not be competing in Formula 1 next season.

The Australian is currently without a seat for 2023 after agreeing a settlement with McLaren to end his contract early during the summer break.

And though options at Alpine, Williams and Haas potentially remain on the table, Ricciardo is more than willing to spend a year on the sidelines.

“I’ve certainly accepted if I’m not to be on the grid next year, I’m okay with that,” he was quoted by Fox Sports.

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“I’ve accepted I’m not going to do everything, or my [management] team’s not going to do everything, just to put me on the grid if it’s not right or it doesn’t make sense.

“Obviously this year’s been challenging and if I am on the grid, I want to know it’s [at] a place I can enjoy it and feel like I can thrive, an environment I feel I can thrive in.

“I don’t want to just jump into a car for the sake of it.”

As for what kind of opportunity he's most looking for, Ricciardo is still open-minded.

“I still definitely have the ability to love a project,” he said. “But of course, if there’s this longer-term project, and this one where you are going to win tomorrow, of course, I’ll go for the quick wins.

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“They are things I will definitely give some thought to. I don’t also want to be stubborn or short-sighted and be like ‘ah, no, I’m not interested in that’. I will give everything its respected thought.

“From 2017, every two years I’ve been with a different team. I don’t want to just sign something and think ‘wait, now something else is there for 2024’. So it’s probably not as simple as just getting somewhere on the grid next year.

“It can go probably in many different directions so I don’t think it needs an immediate decision. It will be about what’s best for me.”

Ricciardo is even open to taking on a reserve driver role next year and has been linked to Mercedes, where he could possibly spend 2023 preparing to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2024 if the seven-time world champion retired.

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But one option the eight-time Grand Prix winner has ruled out is switching to a series like IndyCar.

“I wouldn’t give up on F1,” Ricciardo stated. “If it means I’m not on the grid next year, I’ll certainly try to find a way to be on there in 2024.

“It’s honestly the only racing I’m really interested in at the moment. My mindset is still ‘I’m an F1 driver’.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done but I still feel there’s a bit more to show, to give. I wouldn’t race in another category next year.”