McLaren have terminated Ricciardo’s deal a year early meaning he will become a free agent at the end of a disappointing 2022, and his place in the F1 2023 season is up in the air.

Haas, Alpine and Williams have the only three vacancies for the F1 2023 driver line-up as it stands but Ricciardo has hinted that he is in negotiations with them all.

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“Yes, I’m still keen to be part of F1. Of course, Plan A would be on the grid, so nothing’s changed,” he said at the Singapore Grand Prix. 

“But as I said I don’t want to just jump at the first seat available. I know the landscape has probably changed as well at the end of next year with contracts or whatever, so I’m remaining open.

“My team is talking to pretty much everyone and they are having conversations. So we are just trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense. 

“So it’s not that they’re not interested, and while I’m not coming from a place of overconfidence, we are just doing our due diligence and figuring out what’s best. 

“Trying to see beyond next year, because for me I want to be racing but also don’t want to be just looking at the next 12 months and not the next 24.”

Ricciardo explained about his negotiations with teams: “The conversations are private, but I would say there is still a lot of positivity out there and compliments. 

“I think a lot of people have been in this sport and seen how it works and there is a saying that you are only as good as your last race, but a lot of them appreciate that I haven’t forgotten how to do this. 

“I’ve had some nice words put towards me, which also fills me with confidence to keep at it.”

Ricciardo has also been linked with taking a reserve role at one of the bigger teams, including Mercedes.

“It’s certainly something that’s realistic, yeah,” he admitted.

Ricciardo admitted his choices were to drive for a smaller team or be a reserve for a bigger team: “They are the two realistic options. It’s not to be anywhere else. I mean I love other disciplines of motorsport but I don’t ever see myself there. At least, I feel as well if I jump into something like that it closes the door to F1 and it will feel like I’ve checked out, and I haven’t. I’m solely focused on F1.

He said that choosing to be a reserve driver would need a deal that gave him an F1 seat in 2024: “In the ideal world, yes. But I know that if I choose to take a reserve role or not race next year, nothing’s guaranteed. 

“So that comes at a risk, but that’s what we are weighing up. At this stage, especially with a top team, there are no guarantees.”

The veteran Australian conceded that driving for a smaller team, and being at the back of the grid, might harm his reputation: “It’s possible. These are all things I’m weighing up. Monza last year was the best case scenario, but what fighting at the front does is it gives you a taste and it’s real and that’s ultimately where I want to be. 

“I don’t want to just race to race, I want to race with belief and understanding that I will be back on the podium.”

Ricciardo said about taking time away since the previous race: “I got to get home and it was kind of nice being around family and switching off. I spent some time at the farm and did some fun things like riding bikes and being a bit of a kid again. 

“But even getting back in the paddock today I saw Tom, my engineer, and it felt like I hadn’t seen him for a while and I kind of missed him! It’s like a little bit of time away is powerful and reminds you how much you miss it and that’s where next year, if I’m not racing, I feel like there could be a blessing in all that. 

“It could make me start foaming at the mouth wanting to get back, so that’s why I’d be pumped to be on the grid again but also seeing positives if that’s not the case. That’s why I’m at peace with whatever happens in 2023, because everything is going to happen for a reason and all these things make sense. Having a couple of weeks off is good for headspace, clarity and all those kinds of things.”