Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed that he held talks with Daniel Ricciardo regarding a 2023 Formula 1 drive.
Last August, Ricciardo announced that he would be leaving McLaren following two difficult years with the team.
There was mounting speculation over his future before it became increasingly likely that he would not be on the grid at all in 2023.
In the end, he signed to return to Red Bull in a third driver role, assisting the team with car development and carrying out marketing duties.
A vacancy arose at Alpine when Fernando Alonso opted to depart for Aston Martin, and Pierre Gasly eventually filled the gap.
But Szafnauer says that talks were held with Ricciardo over a return to the team, as the Australian raced for it under the Renault guise in 2019 and 2020.
“We had discussions with Daniel and ended up with Pierre, when he became available,” Szafnauer said.
“He’s signed with Red Bull now but I think he’s a fantastic racing driver, he’s still young, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back racing in the future.”
Ricciardo was also known to have talks with Haas, who dropped Mick Schumacher at the end of 2022 in favour of Nico Hulkenberg, a former team-mate of Ricciardo.
Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says that it is not out of the question that it will revive talks with the 33-year-old later this year.
“It’s a little bit early to speak about a driver change already for next year, so let’s see how we are doing with these drivers!” Steiner said.
“For sure at some point, maybe I’ll speak with him, but I cannot promise anything, because if our two guys do a good job, I think [that’s] where I stand with it.
“Everybody is [going to] want to speak with Daniel. The year off, maybe he knows again what he wants to do and he will be interesting for everybody in F1.
“I’ve got a new driver this year, who has only [done] two races [for the team], so I need to give him a little bit of a chance!”
Ricciardo is back in the paddock this weekend for the first time since leaving McLaren at the conclusion of 2022.