'I want to get back to fighting for podiums' – Ricciardo intent on winning as future speculation continues

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Daniel Ricciardo will only remain in Formula One "under the right circumstances" and would only return to the circuit with a team that will help him fight to get back on the podiums.

Ricciardo was contracted to McLaren until the end of the 2023 season, but the agreement was cut short following underwhelming results amid continuous struggles with the car.

Alfa Romeo, Haas, AlphaTauri and Williams have vacant driver spots for the next grid, though, as the Australian's future team and position remains unclear.

The 33-year-old is yet to reveal his intentions, but wants to remain competitive in whichever team he signs for, and is even considering a break if no one can offer the right seat on the grid.

"I want to get back to winning, I want to get back to fighting for podiums and wins," he told Sky Sports F1 ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. 

"That's what gives me the most happiness. One thing that has remained unchanged for me is I've never wanted to be a driver just to be on the grid.

"Of course, I love this sport and I love everything that comes with it. But at this point in my career, it's just about winning.

"Under the right circumstances, the right opportunity, absolutely it's where I want to be, but obviously I might not have every option available."

Ricciardo has history with Alpine – the former Renault team he left in 2020 for rivals McLaren – and speculation persists as to whether he would return to his former team under their new name.

That largely depends on the ongoings between Oscar Piastri and McLaren, who are embroiled in a battle with Alpine to secure the driver's signature.

Asked if he would consider a return to his former side under a new guise, Ricciardo responded: "Yes. I don't know how else to say that. I'd say, if it's right.

"Obviously, it was tough because we made the announcement [joining McLaren] before racing had even started in that year. It was Covid and there was a lot going on.

"For sure, it was a little bit awkward for a bit, but once we were racing and had the year we had, I think everyone saw I was dedicated to make the most of that year.

"We'll see what feels right and is right, but it's purely going to be on where I feel I can be the most competitive."

While talks continues as to who Ricciardo will sign with, he admits he has received numerous offers, but will not be rushed into a decision.

"I don't want to make rash decisions, I want to get racing then see what feels right once I get the helmet back on," he added.

"I haven't signed anything. At this moment, I'm a free man so to speak."

Ricciardo also explained how he was targeting a team who were competitive immediately.

"When you understand a team a little bit more and if what you see is inspiring and motivating, you can quickly change your thought process [on a long-term project]," he continued.

"But I won't lie, I would like results quicker rather than later. But I am very open to what the future may hold, so I'm not going to sit here and shut anything down."

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