Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo says he isn’t planning to race anywhere this year after returning to the team.
However he believes Red Bull would be willing to let him to compete outside of Formula 1 if he decided to return to competition.
Ricciardo has rejoined the team he raced for between 2014 and 2018 after being dropped by McLaren at the end of last year. The 33-year-old will act as a test and reserve driver for the team in 2023 and will also carry out marketing and exhibition riving duties for the team.
Asked by RaceFans whether his contract with Red Bull would allow him to race in other motorsport events, Ricciardo said he believed they would permit it if he wanted to participate in an event.
“I don’t want to say I’m sure, but I would think there would be some flexibility if I was really pushing on something that I really wanted to do,” he said. “And if it meant Red Bull would get involved, then maybe it’s a win-win.”
However, Ricciardo said he is looking forward to spending some time free from the pressures of racing. While he will be available to replace Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez if needed at some races, he has no plans to seek opportunities to race elsewhere for the time being.
“Right now, I’m not really looking at doing anything seriously or competitively,” Ricciardo said. “I kind of also just want that mental time off.
“Competition’s awesome – I really do love it – but it’s a lot as well. I think if I was to step into something else, inevitably there would be a level of expectation. So I’d want to make sure that I could just have fun with it, because I think that’s really what this year is as well.
“It’s a chance for me just to take a bit more of a light-hearted approach on things and ease off. So I think if I went into something that was going to put a lot of pressure on me – I don’t know, I’m not sure I would actually enjoy it or I don’t know if that’s really what 2023 is asking for, from me. So for now, not really, I guess is probably the long-winded answer.”
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