Daniel Ricciardo has taken on a role as Red Bull’s reserve driver for the 2023 Formula 1 season, following two difficult seasons at McLaren.
The Australian driver is stepping back from the limelight as he wishes to focus on himself for the upcoming year.
Ricciardo is targeting a return to the full-time F1 grid in 2024, however there were opportunities that existed for the upcoming year.
Haas reached out to the 33-year-old during the 2022 campaign, prior to the news that he wouldn’t continue with McLaren for the 2023 season.
However, Ricciardo says that he soon realised that he wanted to step away from a full-time F1 role rather than move to another stable in a racing role.
“There was a couple of times where [Ferrari] was linked,” Ricciardo told the Beyond the Grid podcast when asked if there were other options outside of Red Bull.
“But, I think coming back to a seat next year as Guenther [Steiner, Haas Team Principal] said, he reached out and stuff.
“The more days that passed and, especially as I did the triple-header to get back into the second half of the season – so three days on the bounce – it became more and more clear that it wasn’t about what phone call I was receiving.
“It was about me acknowledging that I just ultimately don’t want to be competing next year.
“So, in a way I am glad that, let’s say, a top team didn’t reach out, because it’s one of those ones where you probably feel, ‘Oh, I’ve got to sign it’, but I think deep down I was just craving a bit of distance.”
Haas ultimately signed Nico Hulkenberg to partner Kevin Magnussen for the upcoming year, with Mick Schumacher dropped from the squad.
Ricciardo has been replaced at McLaren by rookie Oscar Piastri.