The Australian is in advanced talks with Red Bull to take on a non-racing role which could include reserve, testing, promotion and simulator duties, after losing his seat at McLaren for 2023.
Although the agreement is not yet signed, the settlement of the contract is considered a formality and could be announced imminently.
Ricciardo’s choice to go this route comes despite Haas probing the Aussie, and a deal there to be Kevin Magnussen’s team-mate could have kept him on the grid in 2023.
However, Ricciardo revealed he decided quite soon after the summer break that he didn’t want to continue racing next year.
Asked by Motorsport.com about the reasoning behind his decision to go the Red Bull route, he said: “I knew I wanted to take time off next year from a racing seat and just competition.
“It’s obviously been pretty tiring the last two years with the struggles, so it was pretty clear to me shortly after the summer break that this was what I wanted and what was going to be best for me.
“So it was, ‘Okay. What’s the next best thing?’ And the more I thought about it, obviously being involved in some degree with a top team, that was obviously the preference.
“But it’s not done. That’s why I didn’t confirm it, because it’s still the truth: it’s not done. But I can obviously look you in the eye now and say that’s the most likely option at this point. “
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Ricciardo felt that stepping away from the intensity of a racing season would also give him a better understanding of whether he had the motivation to want to return in 2024.
When asked what would happen if he arrived in the middle of next year and decided he didn’t want to come back, he said: “So that’s my answer.
“Honestly, I think that’s also kind of the beauty with that. It’s either going to stoke the fire and make me hungry and motivated more than ever, or it’s actually going to be like, ‘oh, this is the right thing for you,’ and in which case I have to be really happy.
“Because even though you go through the ups and downs of racing, I’m still very happy with life and privileged to have a good one. So if next year I’m not interested in coming back, then I have to do some really cool shit.”
Having competed in F1 since 2011, Ricciardo also suggested that as the sport heads towards its biggest schedule and coming off of two difficult campaigns, there is a risk that it will not be at its best if he was taking a run. sit elsewhere.
“Last season was tough enough, but this season has been tougher still,” he said.
“So the more time went by the more I felt like it, as much as I love it, I want to make sure that I do it at my highest level and with, say, the freshest approach possible.
“Looking at next year, it’s 24 races. The season is more and more demanding. So even though I like it, I think if I end up in another situation, I might not be the best version of myself.
“That’s why the more I thought about it, the more I was like, go back and say rush, just to race, probably doesn’t do justice to me or the team I might be racing for.”
. Ricciardo explains why Red Bull plays better siege