Daniel Ricciardo Hints At Future, Reveals Final Goal

Daniel Ricciardo hints at future, reveals final goal before retirement

Following a turbulent 2023 season, the Honey Badger has big plans for his future.

THERE’S NEVER A dull moment in Formula 1 Racing. The 2023 season wrapped up just over a week ago with a result that surprised absolutely no one. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen secured the driver’s championship for himself, and the constructor’s championship for his team, but even the top teams rarely maintain a consistent roster.

It’s the topsy turvy nature of F1 rostering that stalwart driver Daniel Ricciardo wants to take advantage of. With a potential opening on the horizon at Red Bull, the 34-year-old has revealed he believes a return to the team would be the perfect way to end his F1 career. That’s not all, Ricciardo has also made it clear that he’s not giving up on his dream of winning a maiden world championship just yet.

“I think coming back into it and jumping back into the Red Bull family, doing tests in July, getting back working with Simon again, that’s really the dream,” Ricciardo said on the F1: Beyond the Grid podcast. “Honestly to end my career as a Red Bull driver would be perfect. And I say end, not that I’m looking at the end, but if I got back there, then I’ll certainly make sure I finish there.”

Ricciardo is coming off one his most tumultuous seasons since debuting in 2011. Departing McLaren by mutual agreement at the conclusion of the 2022 season, Ricciardo found a temporary home as Red Bull’s third driver. He spent the first half of 2023 testing cars and making appearances at commercial events, but for a driver who’s gotten a taste of the sport’s ultimate glory, the demotion was an ill fit.

 

 

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Hungry for more time on the track, halfway through the year Ricciardo took a vacant seat at Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri. A few unlucky crashes and a hand injury would mar Ricciardo’s return, but a 7th place finish in the Mexico City Grand Prix proved he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Ricciardo is still contracted to AlphaTauri for 2024, but they’re not a team that wins many races—finishing atop the podium just once in the team’s history—let alone championships. And that’s what Ricciardo wants to be doing. “Do I still want to be world champion? Yes,” he said. “Has it been a dream of mine since I was a kid? Yes. But it’s not going to change me as a human, therefore it’s not going to change my life, moving forward.”

Ricciardo’s long-term future in F1 is uncertain, but a return to Red Bull—who would give him a much better shot at fulfilling his childhood dream—could be on the cards. Sergio Pérez, the Robin to Verstappen’s Batman, finished second in the 2023 driver’s championship, but hasn’t re-upped his contract with the team. When Pérez’s deal runs out at the end of 2024, there could be a vacant seat at Red Bull, one that Ricciardo would be willing and able to fill, and one that he’s previously been comfortable in, having spent five seasons with the team.

Regardless of whether or not Ricciardo makes a triumphant return to Red Bull, he’s already firmly established as one of Australia’s best ever motorsport athletes. Ricciardo could retire today and live out the rest of his days as a happy man, but if a shot at a championship beckons, we doubt he’d pass it up.

 

INSTAGRAM | @danielricciardo

 

Related:

How Daniel Ricciardo fuels himself for F1 Success

Mark Webber on how F1 became the world’s coolest sport

Cayle Reid

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything health and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or waking up early to watch sports in incompatible time zones.

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