Daniel Ricciardo is spotted leaving the Mercedes garage after the McLaren star slammed the door on a move to Haas… so, will Australian replace Lewis Hamilton?
- Daniel Ricciardo has been spotted leaving the Mercedes garage in Singapore
- The 33-year-old is looking for his future after being eliminated by McLaren
- Mercedes is looking at Ricciardo as an option to replace Lewis Hamilton
Daniel Ricciardo may have inadvertently provided an important clue as to where his future lies in Formula 1 after he was spotted leaving the Mercedes garage for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, 33, is weighing his options after being eliminated by McLaren following a disappointing 2022 campaign, with the team recruiting young hotshot Oscar Piastri for 2023.
The former Red Bull man has not been blessed with a range of options, however, with only Alpine, Haas and Williams having seats available for next season.
Daniel Ricciardo was spotted leaving the Mercedes garage with an important hint about his future
As reported by Sportsmail last month, Mercedes is considering a dive for Ricciardo and sees the Australian as an option to replace seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, whose contract expires in 2023.
The 33-year-old should take a reserve driver position next season, but would then be knocked down after Hamilton’s exit from the sport.
And Ricciardo did little on Friday to dispel those rumors after he was caught exiting the Mercedes garage in rather striking conditions, carrying his bright orange McLaren gear through the front door.
Sportsmail understands Ricciardo is an option to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2024
His visit to the Mercedes team follows fairly clear remarks earlier this week in which he distanced himself from a move to Haas after team boss Guenther Steiner asked the Australian to call him.
“I still want to be part of F1 and of course ‘Plan A’ would be on the grid,” said Ricciardo.
“So nothing has changed, but I don’t want to just jump into the first available seat. I know the landscape will probably change by the end of next year too, with contracts and stuff, so I don’t want to say stay patient, just stay open.’
Ricciardo also suggested it was a case of F1 or bust, claiming a switch to another motorsport would mean the end of his F1 career.
Haas boss Guenther Steiner wants to sign Ricciardo, but the Aussie has rejected that move
‘Those are the two realistic options. It shouldn’t be anywhere else,’ he said.
“I like other disciplines of motorsport, but I don’t see myself there. I feel just as good when I jump into something like that, then it closes the door to F1 – I’m just focused on F1.
“My team is in talks with I want to say that pretty much everyone… so we’re trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense.
“I’m trying to look a little bit further than next year, for me of course I want to race, but I also don’t want to just look at the next 12 months and not the next 24.”