After this weekend’s F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix the 2022 season will conclude in Abu Dhabi, which could be the final race in the career of Ricciardo who debuted 11 years ago.

He won’t be in the F1 2023 driver line-up and, although he is negotiating a reserve driver role for next season, he knows it may not result in his goal of returning to the grid in 2024.

Daniel Ricciardo - WHERE NEXT? | F1 2022

“I feel a bit of risk on both sides,” Ricciardo said. “But if I was to be back on the grid in 2024, this has the biggest upside.

“I think the risk is jumping into a seat next year. 

“It’s shown here in my time at McLaren that nothing’s guaranteed in terms of performance. So if it was, for whatever reason, to be a relatively unsuccessful campaign, I think personally I would probably be done with the sport. 

“So that risk seems way bigger than the risk of sitting out a year.”

Ricciardo said about the possibility of never receiving an offer to return: “I’m certainly aware and I’m also at peace with it if that’s the case — I’m standing with my decision. Look, I don’t want this to be my last two races in F1, but if it is then I accept that could be an outcome.

“Because I’m at peace with that, I’m then betting on myself that doing what I’m doing will prepare me for the best version of myself if I do get the opportunity. I think it’s one where if I get the opportunity I don’t want to be Daniel operating at 95 percent, I want to be fully charged.

“People might say: ‘Well if you’re interested in 2024, why aren’t you interested in next year?’ 

“But I know the way I’ll feel having some time off and watching the races from the TV or somewhere in the paddock. It will give me all that hunger back.

“I have the hunger, but I want it to be overflowing and I know just a bit of time off will do that, because I get it in a summer break and that’s only two or three weeks off. I really felt it in COVID when we had three months off or something, and I felt that was probably my best season since 2016.

“So I know what a bit of absence does for me. I appreciate every driver is different and they feel how they feel, but I know that the right time off next year will make me very hungry to be back on the grid in 2024.

“That’s why I say I do want to be back in 2024, but there’s no guarantees. I can’t sign a contract today to guarantee me a seat in 2024 — no one will do that, it’s not possible. But I’ll just try to do all I can next year to show that I still have the desire and the skill to do it.”

Ricciardo is 12th in the F1 standings.