You might want to check on the F1 fans in your life ‘cos Perth’s boyfriend Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed he won’t be racing on the grid next year. Doing my biggest shoey in solidarity.
The rumour mill started speculating in August that Ricciardo was going to be fired from McLaren and replaced by fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri. Not only was this tea hot but it was also correct, with Piastri confirming the news in early September.
Since then Ricciardo has been floating around trying to find a racing home, not unlike Lightning McQueen in Cars cruising through Radiator Springs.
It looked like he (Ricciardo, not the anthropomorphic car) could move to Alpine, and according to Fox Sports, he was in early exploratory talks with the team after finding out he was getting dumped from McLaren.
However, this fantasy was shot to hell on Saturday when Alpine announced that it had signed AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Yes, he is the bloke who narrowly missed a tractor that had entered the track at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday — a very fucking scary moment, indeed.
Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, Ricciardo said he wasn’t blindsided by Alpine hiring Gasly.
“To be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of. I knew they were they were talking for a while and I knew though they were very interested in Pierre,” he said.
“Let‘s say I was prepared for that and [it was] no surprise, so we were trying to navigate our way around that and figure out what was next.
“I think the reality is now I won‘t be on the grid in 2023. I think it’s now just trying to set up for 2024.
“I think that there could be some better opportunities then, so that‘s really what all this confirms and now where the sights are set.”
His manager Nick Thimm hopped onto Twitter to confirm we wouldn’t be saying goodbye to Ricciardo’s F1 career just yet, and it felt like I was reading a gratitude journal. The sheer positivity radiating from ol’ mate Thimm was phenomenal.
“Daniel’s maturity and experience is a matched by few on the grid; now more than ever,” he wrote.
“The honey badger will still be as close to the F1 grid as he can in 2023. He’s not done. And as we saw this season, anything can happen.”
Daniel’s maturity and experience is a matched by few on the grid; now more than ever. The honey badger will still be as close to the F1 grid as he can in 2023. He’s not done. And as we saw this season, anything can happen.
— Nick Thimm (@nick_thimm) October 8, 2022
Hire this man as a motivational speaker ASAP, I say.
According to Fox Sports, Ricciardo might join a ‘yuge team as a reserve driver in 2023, with Mercedes a possibility.
All we know is the season of Drive To Survive covering all things 2023 will be nothing without Ricciardo. God speed, fellow Perthian.