Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has said that Daniel Ricciardo deserves more than being a reserve driver for Mercedes. This is coming as Ricciardo prepares to part ways with McLaren at the end of this season. Ricciardo, who joined McLaren in 2021, said he would not mind taking up a reserve drier role, and there have been reports that Mercedes could make a move on him.
But Hamilton has said that Ricciardo has enough talents to be a main driver, adding that if he was the one managing Ricciardo, he would be racing. He said: “I think he should be racing, personally. I think he’s far too talented, and he’s earned the right to be amongst us all racing. If he’s part of our team, that’d be great, but a third role is not really what’s best for him.”
Speaking on the issue, Ricciardo declined to give any comment on the Mercedes question but revealed that he would like to race, although he does not know what the future has for him: “The truth is I’m keeping every option open, not only for next year but for the future.
“I still don’t know what next year looks like. As Lewis said earlier, I do want to be on the grid. I do want to race.”
Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, also agreed that Ricciardo was deserving of a spot on the grid and that “it would be a real shame for him to not be there next season.” But he also added that having Ricciardo join the Mercedes team in any capacity would serve as a real boost for them.
Hamilton has also revealed that he plans to remain in Mercedes for a while as he has no plans to quit racing soon: “My goal is always to be with Mercedes – I signed with them in 1997. I love that we have the long partnership we have, I feel like we are embarking on a lot of really positive things, not only in the sport but outside, and I think there’s a lot to accomplish together. I want to be a part of that.”