Daniel Ricciardo, Now Healthy Again, Will Serve As A Reserve For Either Mercedes Or Red Bull
While taking a year off from racing, former McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo is expected to join Red Bull or Mercedes as a reserve driver for the 2019 season. Australian driver said his future was looking up following a strong comeback effort at the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday, when he finished in seventh place, but he would not confirm his intentions. Even though he won’t be competing in 2019, he hopes to remain in F1 till 2024. “A final agreement has not been struck, but discussions continue.
I will try anything I can to make it back in 2024, but nothing is assured.
On Sunday, Ricciardo, 33, revitalized his hopes and his grin by moving up from the anonymity of being among the also-rans to finishing seventh, behind both Red Bulls, both Mercedes, and both Ferraris.
He shrugged after a 10-second penalty for crashing into Yuki Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri and came roaring back with a series of exciting passing maneuvers to beat his McLaren teammate Lando Norris in the final standings.
Most people in the paddock were thrilled by his comeback since they thought he was going to replace Nyck de Vries, Mercedes’ backup driver, at Alpha Tauri next season.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, acknowledged that discussions had taken place but added that he believed Ricciardo was in in contact with other teams.
‘Yes, also with Red Bull Racing,’ Wolff said “For. While we agree that he’s a terrific personality, we’re not quite ready to announce our third driver for the 2019 season just yet.
“Daniel has been with us for a long time and has a strong personality, making him an asset. He also has extensive knowledge of these vehicles.
To paraphrase, “That may be an advantage, but I don’t want to generate any rumors here since the fact is that we haven’t determined anything yet.”
After the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Ricciardo was honored as “Driver of the Day” and basked in the spotlight.
I can tell without a certain that I won’t be on the grid behind a wheel,” he told Sky Sports F1 with his trademark smile.
He had already established himself as a guy with plenty to prove by winning eight times “I’m still interested in the sport and would want to join a squad that hopes to compete again in 2024.
“Honestly, that’s where my brain is at the moment as well; I think some time away from a racing seat would do me good, and then I’ll attempt to rebuild.
“Without a question, the previous two years have been challenging, particularly when significant effort is expended without corresponding rewards.
Everyone is different, but I honestly feel it is a gift in disguise. By doing less, I’ll accomplish more. It’s very unrelenting. You don’t really have a chance to rebuild.