Daniel Ricciardo is spotted leaving Mercedes garage after axed McLaren star slammed the door shut on a move to Haas… so, will the Australian replace Lewis Hamilton?
- Daniel Ricciardo has been spotted leaving the Mercedes garage in Singapore
- The 33-year-old is looking to secure his future after being axed by McLaren
- Mercedes are looking at Ricciardo as an option to replace Lewis Hamilton
Daniel Ricciardo may have inadvertently given a major clue as to where his Formula One future lies after being spotted leaving the Mercedes garage ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, 33, is weighing up his options after he was axed by McLaren following an underwhelming 2022 campaign, with the team recruiting young hotshot Oscar Piastri for 2023.
However, the former Red Bull man is not blessed with an array of options, with only Alpine, Haas and WIlliams having seats available for next season.
Daniel Ricciardo was spotted leaving the Mercedes garage in a major hint about his future
As reported by Sportsmail last month, Mercedes are considering a swoop for Ricciardo and view the Australian as an option to replace seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, whose contract expires in 2023.
The 33-year-old would have to spend next season occupying a reserve driver position, but would then get bumped up after Hamilton’s exit from the sport.
And Ricciardo did little to dispel those rumours on Friday after being captured leaving the Mercedes garage in rather conspicuous circumstances, wearing 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 rather clear comments earlier this week in which he distanced himself from a move to Haas, after the team principle Guenther Steiner told the Australian to give him a call.
‘I’m still keen to be part of F1 and of course, ‘Plan A’ would be to be on the grid,’ Ricciardo said.
‘So nothing’s changed but I don’t want to just jump at the first kind of seat available. I know the landscape probably changes as well at the end of next year, with contracts and whatever, so I don’t want to say remaining patient, but remaining open.’
Ricciardo also suggested it is a case of F1 or bust, claiming that a move to another motorsport would signal the end of his F1 career.
Haas boss Guenther Steiner wants to sign RIcciardo but the Aussie has snubbed that move
‘That’s the two realistic options. It’s not to be anywhere else,’ he said.
‘I love other disciplines of motorsport but I don’t see myself there. I feel as well if I jump into something like that, then it closes the door on F1 – I’m solely focused on F1.
‘My team is talking with I want to say pretty much everyone … so we’re just trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense.
‘I’m trying to kind of see beyond next year, for me of course I want to be racing but I also don’t want to just look at the next 12 months and not look at the next 24.’
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