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Daniel Ricciardo admits it's unlikely he's in Formula One next year – ESPN

Nate Saunders feels a break from F1 could be beneficial for McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. (1:27)
SUZUKA, Japan — Daniel Ricciardo does not expect to race in Formula One next year following news Pierre Gasly has signed a new multiyear contract with Alpine starting in 2023.
Ricciardo’s McLaren contract is set to be terminated one year earlier than planned at the end of this season after the team signed Oscar Piastri as his replacement for 2023 over the summer.
Initially it seemed likely Ricciardo could fill an opening at Alpine to replace Fernando Alonso, who is set to move to Aston Martin in 2023, but following Gasly’s announcement on Saturday, Ricciardo said he expects to spend a year on the sideline.
“Yeah, to be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of, I knew 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 no surprise so we were trying to, let’s say navigate, our way around that and figure out what was next.
“But 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.”
Ricciardo’s comments effectively ruled out any prospect of joining Haas or Williams next year, which are the only two teams without two drivers contracted for 2023.
The Australian, who has previously expressed an interest in a reserve role at a top team during his year out, said he would rather remain a part of F1 than race in another series.
“Certainly the plan is still to be involved in F1,” he said. “It’s kind of like just hitting pause for a little bit, as I see it as far as my F1 career goes.
“The full intention is for ’24 and sure it could open up opportunities to maybe do some of that stuff, but if I feel it’s going to deviate away from my target then I will still say it’s not really where I’m looking.
“As fun or cool as it sounds to compete in something else, the truth is mentally, I’m not there yet. I’m still so, so engaged in this and I think a bit of time off out of a seat will probably do me good.
“I would probably use that as opposed [to get back in F1] than try to jump in something else and stay busy in a different category.
“I’d say pretty convincingly say it wouldn’t happen anywhere else.”

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