SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Daniel Ricciardo is determined that this season will not mark the end of his career in Formula One and said he would even consider a role as a reserve driver for next year.
The Australian split with McLaren last week and has already said that he might take a sabbatical from the series for the 2023 season if the right position did not come up.
In an interview with Australia’s The Core website on Monday, the 33-year-old said he would be looking at all options to stay in Formula One.
“That fire in my gut is still there. It hasn’t gone away,” he said.
“There are pros with having some time off… but then obviously staying active in here is good.
“So that’s why I want to hear everything. Even if it’s reserve, I don’t want to be too proud to say, ‘I’m too good for that’. I just want to hear everything and see what makes sense.”
The Australian will not need a job for the money, having been bought out of the final year of his multi-million dollar contract at McLaren.
Some media reports have linked Ricciardo with a reserve drive behind Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at Mercedes.
Several teams have yet to confirm their line-ups for next season, including Ricciardo’s previous employers Renault-owned Alpine.
Another option might be Ferrari-powered Haas, who have Mick Schumacher out of contract at the end of the year.
Ricciardo said there was no need for him to make an immediate decision and he would probably start reviewing his options only after the Japanese Grand Prix in early October.
“I still want to be on the grid. That might not be at any cost, but I definitely still want to do it,” he said.
“I’ve been tested over the last couple years, for sure. But I’m proud to say, I haven’t been broken. And that’s why I still love it.”
Ricciardo finished 17th at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday but has another chance to showcase his talent next weekend at Monza, where he took the most recent of his eight career race wins last year.