Devoid of F1 Seat, Daniel Ricciardo Finds the Silver Lining in His 2023 Unemployment: “It Felt Really Nice…”

Published 02/22/2023, 8:30 PM EST

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In the past couple of years, the way Daniel Ricciardo has suffered on track has been nothing short of devastating for the Australians and his fans. Ricciardo signed with the storied McLaren team at the start of the 2021 season. At the time, this move was branded as the beginning of both, McLaren’s and Ricciardo’s rise back to the top. Fast forward to today, the Woking-based team terminated the Honey Badger’s contract a year too early, and the team itself has been stuck in the midfield of the pack.

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While McLaren seemed to have moved on with rookie Oscar Piastri, Ricciardo found himself without any real prospect of driving in Formula 1 again. Even though the 33-year-old will not race next year, he still will be a paddock regular thanks to his reserve driver role at Red Bull. But for someone who has raced for the better part of his life, you’d be well within your rights to expect Ricciardo to be lost and inconsolable. But as it turns out, the Honey Badger isn’t really miffed at missing out on racing in 2023.

via Reuters

Speedcafe.com quoted the Australian racing ace as saying, “It felt really nice to have a little bit of time off. Even the physical side of things, at this time of year, I would have been into an intense pre-season training regime and all of that.”

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“I was able just to hang out at home a little longer and spend time with family and do the little things you kind of miss out on over the course of time, especially being based in Australia, which is far from normally where I am. So just getting that quality time and that kind of level of fulfilment, on a personal level, it was really nice,” examined Ricciardo.

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We have seen Ricciardo’s struggles in Formula 1 which have been well-documented as well. But has the Honey Badger danced his last dance in F1?

Will we never see Daniel Ricciardo back in F1 again?

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Daniel Ricciardo was the main attraction for new F1 fans, with the advent of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series. Hence, he was an asset to F1. Even disregarding that, his talent and personality made him a favorite amongst the fans. But in a disappointing turn of events, the sport may have prematurely lost one of its biggest gems forever.

via Reuters

According to PlanetF1.com, “By process of elimination, then, Alfa Romeo could be Ricciardo’s best – and possibly only – bet [for a 2024 return]. Even then, this may not be a sure-fire solution for him. Sauber have their own junior talent waiting in the wings in teenage Formula 2 runner-up Théo Pourchaire, who will also be staking a claim.”

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Do you think Daniel Ricciardo can make a return to the sport with a top team in the near future?

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Written by:

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. In his pursuit for a Bachelor's degree in Law from Symbiosis Law School, he has written multiple academic papers centered around the domain of motorsports. Not only that, but due to his love for F1, he aims to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world some day.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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