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Ricciardo looking for 'competitive' F1 drive: I won't make up the numbers

Daniel Ricciardo is adamant that he is only looking for a competitive F1 drive, amid speculation about his 2023 racing plans.

Daniel Ricciardo insists that F1 is his only priority as he looks to secure a competitive drive for the 2023 season. Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, McLaren and Ricciardo announced that they had come to a 'mutual agreement' to end his contract one year early, and that he would leave the team at the end of the season. The Australian's performance deficit to teammate Lando Norris was a key factor in their decision, and Ricciardo is now currently without a drive for the 2023 season. This is highly likely to pave the way for McLaren to sign Oscar Piastri to partner Norris for next year's campaign. Despite losing his seat for 2023, Ricciardo insists that his self-belief remains intact and that he won't settle for a role that simply "makes up the numbers". "I still love the sport and I think through all of this, I guess you'd call it adversity, I haven't lost that confidence in myself," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We've had some tough weekends, and you can't help but show emotion sometimes, but I still love it and I still want to do it competitively. "I want to do it in the right place. I've never said that I want to just be a driver to make up the numbers. If I'm here, I want to be here for purpose. "I don't know what that means yet for the future, but of course if it's the right opportunity then this is where I want to be."

Ricciardo confirms sabbatical an option

With some F1 seats still available, Ricciardo is arguably the highest-profile driver available in the driver market, but the eight-time Grand Prix winner is likely to require a higher wage and competitive car. Potential teams that could make a move for Ricciardo include his former team Alpine (then Renault), Haas and Williams. It had been suggested that McLaren could negotiate a deal to place Ricciardo in the IndyCar series, but both parties have rejected the idea. Ricciardo was asked if he would consider a sabbatical if the right opportunity doesn't present itself. "If it made sense, yes," said Ricciardo. "It's the only racing I'm interested in, at this stage of my career F1 is what I love, and it's where I see myself if I'm doing any racing. "If let's say the stars don't align and it doesn't make perfect sense next year, and if it means taking that time off to kind of reset or re-evaluate, then if that's the right thing to do, then I'm willing to do it."

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