Hamilton: Ricciardo “far too proficient” to be Mercedes F1 reserve in 2023

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As Ricciardo prepares to depart the McLaren squad the place he has raced for the reason that begin of the 2021 season, there’s intense curiosity in the place he’ll find yourself.

As he’s understood to be receiving wage compensation from McLaren to cowl the third 12 months of the contract he signed with the orange group again in 2020, Ricciardo may conceivably resolve to take a 12 months out of racing and as a substitute work for an additional squad in a reserve and third driver capability.

That is if potential strikes for Ricciardo to rejoin Alpine – considered unlikely given his determination to swiftly abandon that group and be a part of McLaren for 2021 – or head to Haas or Williams don’t come off.

Forward of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza, a report in Britain’s Every day Mail newspaper suggests a 2023 Mercedes reserve function is a brand new chance for Ricciardo.

When requested about this suggestion within the press convention for the Monza race, Hamilton, who is about to race alongside George Russell at Mercedes in 2023, replied: “I believe he needs to be racing, personally.

“He is far too proficient to [be a third driver] and he is earned the appropriate to be amongst us all racing.

“However, in fact, if he is part of our group that will be nice. However third [driver] function shouldn’t be actually what’s finest for him. If I used to be managing him, he’d be racing!”

Sitting alongside Hamilton within the press convention, Ricciardo was additionally requested for his response to the report, to which he stated he’s “actually assessing all the things” relating to his future plans.

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“The reality is I am conserving each possibility open for not solely subsequent 12 months however the future [too],” Ricciardo added.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Photographs

“I nonetheless do not know what subsequent 12 months seems to be like. As Lewis stated, I do wish to be on the grid – I do wish to race.

“I touched on it a number of weeks in the past, though this has been actually a difficult time in my profession, it hasn’t taken the love of the game away from me and that want to nonetheless be right here and compete.

“Clearly, many talks or ideas about subsequent 12 months and past that [have taken place], however I am nonetheless undecided what that appears like.”

Hamilton’s present Mercedes contract solely covers the 2023 season, with the implication of any mooted reserve function for Ricciardo on the Silver Arrows squad being that he may step in and change the seven-time world champion and race alongside Russell for 2024 if Hamilton decides to step away from F1 on the finish of subsequent season.

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However Hamilton gave such hypothesis quick shrift and once more outlined his intentions relating to his F1 future, saying he was “steering in direction of” a brand new deal for 2024 and doubtlessly past.

“For years we have going round, up-and-down with tales of retirement, stopping,” stated the Briton.

“For me, I really feel more healthy than I’ve ever felt. I am feeling match, I really like what I am doing. And I do not plan on stopping any time quickly – sorry buddy [Ricciardo]!

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“However, my aim was all the time to be with Mercedes since I signed with them in 1997 [as a McLaren junior during its years as the de facto Mercedes works squad with its engine supply arrangement].

“I really like that now we have the lengthy partnership now we have. I really feel like we’re embarking on quite a lot of actually constructive issues – not solely within the sport, however outdoors [too].

“And I believe there’s rather a lot [more] to perform collectively.

“So, I wish to be part of that. I believe I am going to all the time be with Mercedes – until the day I die. I really feel like I can race for fairly a bit longer. I am going to doubtlessly be steering in direction of that.”

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