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Ricciardo 'at peace' with Abu Dhabi possibly being last F1 race

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was Daniel Ricciardo's last F1 appearance for the time being, with the Australian missing out on a race seat in 2023. Despite the mixed emotions involved, Ricciardo would feel content should the event prove to be his final ever Formula 1 race.

Daniel Ricciardo is feeling "at peace" should the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix turn out to have been his last ever race in F1. The event marked Ricciardo's final Grand Prix with the McLaren team, following the mutual decision to terminate his multi-year contract early. With the Australian being left without a race seat in 2023, he looks set to spend the year on the sidelines as a reserve driver, most likely for the Red Bull team. Whilst his aim is to return to the grid in 2024, Ricciardo acknowledged that this is not a certainty following the race in Abu Dhabi, in which he scored points with a P9 finish.

Ricciardo 'relieved' after 2022 season finale

Following a difficult final season with McLaren, Ricciardo was left feeling more content with his performance at the Yas Marina Circuit, so much so that he would be accepting of it should it be his last Formula 1 race. "I'm happy," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I'm relieved also that the season finished like this and not like the race in Brazil [with a DNF on the first lap]. "I think to see the chequered flag, to finish in the points, it just makes me a little more at peace with how this year has ended. "And, of course, I don't know what the future holds, so if this was to be my final ever race, at least I can say, 'Alright'. I had a nice little battle with [Sebastian] Vettel at the end. "I feel a bit more content with my performance, so for that I'm relieved."

Ricciardo: I didn't want to be overridden with emotions

Unlike Vettel – who had announced earlier in the season that he would retire from F1 at the end of the 2022 season – the finality of Ricciardo's exit from the sport is less certain. Despite this, the eight-time race winner was keen to focus on the task at hand in Abu Dhabi and not become distracted by emotions over his future. "I tried not to get too emotional, honestly," Ricciardo said. "Because it's not a sure thing – maybe it is [the last race], maybe it isn't, and there's still a race to happen. I didn't want to be overridden with emotions, and a lot of nostalgia and all these things. "I was just trying to stay focused and, certainly, trying to absorb everything and appreciate it, but ultimately, still stay focused and try to focus on obviously the 58-lap race."

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