F1 2022 news, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, driver market, silly season, sabbatical, Italian Grand Prix, Monza

Daniel Ricciardo says he prepared for a year on the sidelines next season after losing training at McLaren.

Ricciardo has had his three-year contract with the British side cut short by 12 months after two years of underperformance and will be replaced by compatriot Oscar Piastri next season.

But the eight-time race winner has struggled to find another grid spot for 2023.

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The more competitive alternative is Alpine, who lead McLaren to fourth in the constructors’ standings, but their sudden 2020 decision to leave the French team is still viewed with some bitterness in the senior management echelons and seems keep the door closed. at a meeting.

Both Haas and Williams have vacancies, but sitting seventh and 10th in the Championship, neither is attractive to the 11+ season veteran.

Speaking after pulling out of the points at the Italian Grand Prix a year after his decisive victory – still McLaren’s most recent victory – the Australian said he was ready for a seemingly inevitable year on the sidelines.

“I’ve certainly accepted, if I don’t have to be on the grid next year that’s fine with me,” he said. “I accepted that I wouldn’t do everything, or my [management] the team is not going to do everything, just put me on the grid if it’s not right or if it doesn’t make sense.

Ricciardo said his priority was to find a racing seat that could get his career back on track after the derailment of two McLaren campaigns that risked tarnishing his reputation as one of the fiercest racers on the grid, having neutralized his characteristic driving style.

“Obviously this year has been difficult, and if I’m on the grid, I want to know that it’s a place where I can enjoy it and feel that I can thrive, an environment in which I feel that I can flourish.

“I don’t want to just jump in a car for fun.”

Ricciardo had reserved the looming two-weekend break before the next Singapore Grand Prix as an opportunity to decide what he was going to do in 2023, after fending off consideration during the demanding triple-header that followed his sacking from McLaren.

He enters this crucial decision-making window after a run of four laps outside the points – the longest of his career at McLaren and his worst streak since 2012 – although he is on track to finish eighth at Monza. before his car suddenly changes. six towers from the house.

“Days like this are definitely quite frustrating,” he said Sunday night. “But give it 24, 48 hours and I’ll get over it and try to figure out what’s best for next year.

“Not in an overly confident or arrogant way, but if it’s not meant to be, then I’m totally okay with that. I’m not going to be too proud.

“We certainly haven’t given up [getting a seat]but that’s kind of where my head is right now.

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Ricciardo is on course for one of his worst results of the season since making his full-time debut in 2012.

Reset of his semester at HRT in 2011, Ricciardo has finished outside the top 10 of the driver standings only twice: in 2012 (18th, 10 points) and 2013 (14th, 20 points).

He is currently 14th in the standings with just 19 points. Six rounds remaining in season record 22 races.

McLaren have slipped back in the constructors’ standings this season, thanks in part to a deeply inconsistent MCL36, which handed the team four scoreless doubles. He leads Alpine by 18 points in the constructors’ standings.

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