Leaked footage: Ricciardo's hint about F1 sabbatical?

Outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has dropped a huge clue that he might be forced to take a break from F1 at the end of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren on the
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren on the

Ricciardo is without a drive for next season after McLaren decided to end his contract prematurely in order to sign Alpine junior Oscar Piastri.

This leaves Ricciardo’s options limited with Alpine, Haas or Williams his only realistic options.

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Alpine are expected to sign Pierre Gasly, while it’s unlikely Ricciardo will want to drop down to either to a team competing at the back of the grid.

Ahead of yesterday’s Dutch Grand Prix, a clip surfaced of Ricciardo talking to Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.

While the context of the discussion isn’t entirely clear, Ricciardo is clearly heard saying to Perez: “Take a year off and come back in 2024”.

At the Belgian Grand Prix, Ricciardo stated that he would consider taking a year off from F1 if he couldn’t find a competitive drive for 2023.

Ricciardo struggles again at Zandvoort

Ricciardo’s disappointing season continued at the Dutch GP, finishing a lowly 17th after being knocked out in Q1.

In stark contrast to high-flying McLaren teammate Lando Norris, who qualified and finished inside the top eight.

(L to R): Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-22; Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren MCL36; and Mick Schumacher (GER) Haas VF-22.
(L to R): Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-22; Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) McLaren…

Reflecting on the weekend, he said: “I feel like there’s been a lot of bad ones, so if I say it’s the worst — I didn’t think it could get worse. It’s weird as well because I think back to FP1 and I remember the first few laps of the session to me was like, all right, that’s p1. I was like, all right. 

“Even if not everyone’s set a time, I thought it was trending to be a much better weekend. That’s where it’s a weird one. I know qualifying got away from us through the last corner, but it felt like we were looking like a much better car or in a better place at the first practice session. 

“So yeah. Tough to say, but certainly not a good weekend.”

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