Ricciardo will sit F1 2023 on the sidelines after being dropped by McLaren in favour of fellow Australian Oscar Piastri.

Instead, Ricciardo will be Red Bull’s third driver for the year, driving in the team’s simulator as well as participating in marketing events.

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The eight-time grand prix winner still has his sights set on F1, eyeing a return for 2024.

Alonso made his return to F1 with Alpine in 2021 after two years out, while Magnussen returned earlier this year at Haas, replacing Nikita Mazepin.

Hulkenberg is the latest returnee, teaming up with Magnussen having replaced Mick Schumacher.

Given these three examples, Ricciardo is hopeful he will be able to complete a comeback of his own.

“Hulkenback - he needs to change his name, because he’s come back so many times now. It’s no more berg, it’s back,” he said. “There is certainly something. I know myself obviously better than anyone knows me, and I know what I need or what I feel will help me and things like that, so I have confidence in taking the year off, because I know what good it will do for me. 

“But of course then when you see other examples - and pretty good examples; you know, Alonso or Magnussen, for example - that’s kind of reassuring. We’re all wired differently, and the year off could have a different effect on all of us, but actually I look at Alonso, for example, someone who loves racing all the time, and him having that time off and coming back - I feel like for me to really remove myself a bit more than maybe what he would have done will be even more powerful for me personally and what I feel I benefit from. 

“Long story short, that sort of stuff encourages me. It’s the icing on the cake in terms of me feeling like I’ve done the right thing.”