Daniel Ricciardo admits he could take a one-year sabbatical from Formula One

Daniel Ricciardo admits he could take a one-year sabbatical from Formula One ‘if it made sense’ after McLaren axing – as Sebastian Vettel insists Australian is ‘still one of the best drivers’ on the grid

  • Daniel Ricciardo admits he could take a one-year sabbatical from Formula One 
  • The 33-year-old was dumped by McLaren and will leave at the end of 2022 
  • He wants to stay in F1 but says he will take a year out ‘if it made sense’
  • Sebastian Vettel insists Ricciardio remains ‘one of the best drivers’ on the gri

A downbeat Daniel Ricciardo has opened up on his McLaren exit and admits he could take a year out of Formula One ‘if it makes sense’. 

Ricciardo, 33, will part ways with the Woking-based team at the end of the season after a series of underwhelming results in 2022, and will pocket a sizeable pay off as he had a year remaining on his deal.

His exit leaves his Formula One career in limbo, with the Australian desperate to secure another seat for 2023.

Daniel Ricciardo admits that he could take a year out of Formula One ‘if it makes sense’

While Ricciardo has options for next year, most notable Alpine, a drive next year is no certainty and speaking to the media ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, the 33-year-old says he would consider taking a year out of the sport. 

‘If it made sense, yes. If it made sense. It’s the only racing I’m interested in, this stage of my career Formula 1 is the one I see,’ he said via The Independent. 

‘If the stars don’t align and it doesn’t make perfect sense and I need to take time to re-evaluate, then that’s what I need to do.’ 

Ricciardo added that he is disappointed with the decision to split at the end of the season, but insists he leaves with pride despite not reaching the lofty standards expected of him.

The 33-year-old will leave McLaren at the end of the season after a disappointing campaign

The 33-year-old will leave McLaren at the end of the season after a disappointing campaign

Ricciardo wants to stay in Formula One but says he will wait out if it made sense to him

Ricciardo wants to stay in Formula One but says he will wait out if it made sense to him

‘It’s not the result we wanted when I joined the team,’ he added. ‘The outcome wasn’t desired. As a collective we didn’t really get it right. We put in a lot of effort and tried to get through it and me myself gelling with the car, but there were too many weekends which were a struggle. That was how the decision came about.

‘It’s not the nicest feeling but I look back and can hold my head high in terms of applying myself and trying to put it in. I tried and it didn’t necessarily work out. It’s just one of those things, I’m proud of how we tried to make it happen.

‘I still love the sport, I think through all of this adversity I haven’t lost that confidence in myself. I still love it, I still want to do it competitively, in the right place. I’ve never said I want to be a driver to make up the numbers, I want to be here with a purpose. I don’t know what that means for the future.’

Sebastian Vettel believes that Ricciardo remains one of the best drivers in the sport

Sebastian Vettel believes that Ricciardo remains one of the best drivers in the sport

‘Picking myself up is something I’m capable of doing. It’s a big moment in time for my career… no one has a perfect career. I’ve learned to deal with it over time, this is another hurdle. That fire and belief is still in me so it’s whether I want to make that choice and I can.’

Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel expressed his sympathy for Ricciardo, describing it as ‘a difficult situation to be in.’

‘I was very saddened to hear what’s going to happen to Daniel, it is a very difficult situation to be in,’ the four-time world champion said. 

‘He’s still one of the best drivers. I still think he has a lot to offer but I guess McLaren failed to extract the potential he has. 

‘It’s sad to see he has been put in a difficult situation, but I’m sure the talent and qualities he has will shine through.’ 

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