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Daniel Ricciardo

Webber expects year out to feel 'longer' for Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo will be absent from the F1 grid in 2023, with the Australian having instead opted for a reserve driver role with Red Bull. His countryman Mark Webber has given his verdict on whether the year out can prove positive for Ricciardo.

Mark Webber believes that a year on the F1 sidelines will feel "longer" for Daniel Ricciardo, but acknowledges that this could be a good thing.

Ricciardo was left without a seat for 2023 when it was mutually agreed with McLaren to bring his multi-year contract to an early end, with the Australian leaving the team at the end of the 2022 campaign.

He will now take a position as a reserve driver for Red Bull in the year ahead, though he has voiced his hope of returning to the field in 2024.

Webber – who was replaced by Ricciardo at the Milton Keynes-based squad in 2014 following his retirement from F1 – hopes that the role can present Ricciardo with a good opportunity to find his motivation again.

Webber gives verdict on Ricciardo

"Obviously, in Daniel's own words, he needs a break," Webber told Australian outlet Speedcafe.

"He needs to reflect on finding the motivation and the energy back to the sport.

"I think this is a great opportunity for him to do that in an environment that he knows well, with Milton Keynes and Red Bull.

"He'll be good for the brands, there's no question about that. He's insanely popular, we know that globally."

Why a 'long' year could be good for Ricciardo

While Webber admits that 2023 may feel like a long year for Ricciardo, he thinks that it can act as a positive for the 33-year-old.

"A year out will be... I think it'll feel like longer for him, which could be good, because he might need that," Webber continued.

"Then [he can] start making decisions for how '24 can look for him.

"I had a good chat with him at Singapore about some of this stuff, and it's good that he's open to staying on the fringes to measure his motivation levels at his own discretion."

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