Daniel Ricciardo says that chances of driving the 2023 Red Bull F1 car may have to come in a tyre test rather than a free practice session, with the Australian admitting that he would have few chances to test the RB19 as his Formula 1 programme will be primarily based on simulator work.
Ricciardo ended his two-year association with McLaren at the end of 2022, returning to the Red Bull team that made him an F1 race winner as the third driver to Sergio Perez and old friend Max Verstappen.
“The simulator work will be the main thing, I’ll do some show runs throughout the year. But I’m not sure if it will happen,” Ricciardo told the press, including Total-Motorsport.com.
“But there are some tyre tests if I want to drive this year’s car, and that’s more likely than FP1s. So that could be there, but mainly the sim work is the driving stuff for now.”
Why Ricciardo won’t jump into another series any time soon
For the first time in over a decade, Ricciardo will not be racing full-time as he undergoes his new role. Instead, the Australian is hoping to use his sabbatical as a chance to recharge his batteries.
As a result, Ricciardo is not looking at moving to another series for 2023, although he still maintains that he loves the competition of motor racing.
“I would think there would be some flexibility if I was pushing on something that I really wanted to do, and if it meant Red Bull would get involved, maybe it’s a win-win,” said Ricciardo.
“But right now, I’m not really looking at doing anything seriously or competitively; I also want that mental time off. Competition’s awesome, I do love it, but it’s a lot as well.”
Ricciardo also believes that a move into another series would add another level of expectations that would jeopardise his plans to take a light-hearted approach towards the year ahead.
“I think if I was to step into something else, inevitably, there would be a level of expectations, so I’d want to make sure that I could just have fun with it,” explained Ricciardo.
“That’s really what this year is as well. It’s a chance for me to just take a bit more of a light-hearted approach to things and ease off.”