The McLaren driver finished 16th - the 14th time in 19 races that he hasn’t scored a point - and now sits 12th in the 2022 F1 standings.

By contrast his teammate Lando Norris finished sixth in Austin and is seventh overall, with 109 points to Ricciardo’s 29.

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McLaren will replace Ricciardo with Oscar Piastri in the F1 2023 driver line-up after terminating the veteran’s contract a year early.

“I don’t know how I’m continuing to continue,” he emotionally said after another drab finish in the US.

“I have no idea what to say. Honestly, it’s just 2022. When you think it can’t get worse, it does.

“That’s where, I don’t know, I don’t know how I’m continuing to continue. 

“‘It’s painful’ is an understatement.

“It’s been the year that it’s been. Just so far off the pace, I simply can’t lean on [the car], I can’t push, can’t get the time out of it.

“The inconsistency through the lap times, it shows that it really is a struggle, but to have such a really big margin [to Norris] again it remains a mystery.

“I love Texas, I love Austin, but that race was not enjoyable for me.”

Ricciardo arrived on horseback sporting his trademark grin but the weekend soon turned sour in the worst season of his career which could yet cost him his long-term F1 future.

Guaranteed to not have a full-time drive in 2023, Ricciardo is considering becoming a reserve driver with a view to attracting offers to return to the grid for 2024.