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F1 Sao Paulo GP: Daniel Ricciardo denies Red Bull deal – could he stay at McLaren? | F1


Ricciardo’s contract with McLaren has been terminated a year early and he won’t feature in the F1 2023 driver line-up.

He is instead exploring roles as a reserve and test driver – reportedly with Mercedes or Red Bull – but McLaren could ask him to stay as a back-up.

Asked if he had decided his next move, Ricciardo said: “Not really.

“There’s nothing yet close or confirmed or anything. I can make something up but nothing new to tell you.”

Asked if a deal with Red Bull was finalised, he said: “It’s not, I can tell you now. Nothing is done.

“Look, as I have said before, I have nothing to hide.

“From a contractual point of view I’m free to talk but there’s nothing done.

“If something was done, trust me, I’d be saying it. So there’s nothing holding that back.”

Ricciardo was a Red Bull driver before leaving for Renault.

He could now provide back-up for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in 2023 in order to stay visible to return to the grid in 2024.

But McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has opened the door to keeping Ricciardo as their reserve driver next season.

“That’s a discussion we didn’t have yet,” said Seidl.

“It’s a discussion we would usually have in the winter. As you know as well, we have an agreement in place with other teams as well in order to share reserve drivers.

“Again, there is absolutely no hard or bad feelings between Daniel and us and therefore anything is possible.

“It is clear that with Daniel leaving the team, we are losing not just a great driver but also a great personality and he will be deeply missed in the team.

“That is why we are both committed to making sure that in these last races we are doing together, that we are still trying to put in some good performances in order to finish our journey together on a high.

“I don’t want to go into any speculation of what he is doing next but in the end, whatever he is doing next, wherever he is a driver next, that’s exactly what his next team or employer will get – a great driver and a great personality.”

Oscar Piastri will replace Ricciardo, and partner Lando Norris, next season.

Ricciardo crashed out of the F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix after contact with Kevin Magnussen, and as a result will have a three-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi. He is 12th in the F1 standings.



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