Amid growing debate on whether Ricciardo would be able to seize a F1 driver’s seat in 2023, the 33-year-old had told before the Singapore GP that a reserve driver role seems realistic to him. In a wet and chaotic Singapore GP track on Sunday, Ricciardo’s gambles had paid off, as he finished at fifth place, marking off his highest finish this year.
If truth is to be spoken, the Aussie’s future has been hanging on tight ropes since August, when Alpine and McLaren had engaged in a rattling legal battel over Piastri contract.
Ricciardo says reserve driver role seems realistic
However, as FIA contract regulatory board had ruled in favour of McLaren and the 22-year-old reigning F2 champion would be joining Norris next year, McLaren and Ricciardo had reached a settlement to part ways.
Meanwhile, speaking in an interview with a press agency, ahead of his surprising upturn in performance in Singapore GP, Ricciardo said, “For me to remain in the sport, that's a realistic place for me to be next year," said Ricciardo, when asked if he would entertain a role as a reserve driver, following a poor showing in qualifying at the Singapore Grand Prix.
"I know the [F1] landscape probably changes as well at the end of next year, with contracts and whatever, so I don't want to just look at the next 12 months and not look at the next 24. I'm remaining open. I'm solely focused on F1 and we'll see." Just a week earlier, a more optimistic Ricciardo said in an interview, “My [management] team is talking with pretty much everyone.
They're having conversations. Plan A is to be on the grid [but] we're just trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense. It's not that they're not calling or they're not interested. But let's say, I don't want to just jump at the first seat available.
What fighting at the front does, when you've had that taste, it's real, and that's ultimately where I want to be, so I guess I don't want to just [go from] race to race. I want to race with a true belief and understanding that I can be back on the podium. I love other disciplines of motorsport but I don't see myself there”