McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has said that he needs a break from Formula 1 in order to be prepared for the 2024 season. This is coming a week after the Australian confirmed that he would not be racing next year. While this could be easily pinned on a lack of options, it may also be that Ricciardo needs the year to make himself well-prepared for 2024.
Ricciardo, whose contract with McLaren comes to an end after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later this year, said that he was looking forward to taking the break next year, adding that it should have even happened sooner. He said: “It’s something I’ve certainly evaluated since the summer break. I wanted to give it a few races, and the more time that passes, the more I feel like it’s what I need. Albeit as well the opportunities… there’s not really anything in the form of next year!
“It’s part I would like the break and need to reset a little bit, and part 2024 as well; some other things may open up.”
The eight-time race winner is hoping to make a big comeback in 2024, although it is not known what team he would race for then. Ricciardo was linked to joining Mercedes as a reserve driver, but Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both agreed that Ricciardo was far more experienced to be just a reserve driver, with Hamilton emphasising that Ricciardo deserved to race.
But Ricciardo is quite sure that there may be better opportunities in 2024: “I think that there could be some better opportunities in 2024, so that’s really what all this confirms and now where the sights are set.
“Certainly, the plan is still to be involved in F1.
“It’s kind of like just hitting pause for a little bit, as I see it – and let’s say as far as my F1 career goes, the full intention is [to be driving] for ’24.”
Taking time off F1 might just be what Riccardo needs at this point. His performance this season has been below par and is the key reason why he is exiting McLaren when the year ends.