Ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok has assessed the options Daniel Ricciardo has in front of him in terms of a potential return to the grid in 2024.
The Aussie is taking a break from the sport this year, with his last couple of seasons, for McLaren, failing to live up to expectations unfortunately.
Ricciardo’s year out after a tough McLaren spell
Indeed, news broke just after the summer break in 2022 that Ricciardo and McLaren were going to bring their relationship to an end at the close of the campaign – a year before his contract with the team was due to expire – and naturally speculation grew over where Ricciardo might end up for 2023 instead.
He was linked with potential drives at both Haas and Williams, as well as reserve roles with Mercedes and Red Bull and, indeed, after it became clear he wanted a year away from racing in F1, the latter option was soon confirmed as he rejoined the Milton Keynes based team.
Karun Chandhok discusses Daniel Ricciardo’s options for 2024 return
It remains to be seen if we’ll see Ricciardo back in a race seat in 2024 or onwards, and Sky Sports F1 expert Karun Chandhok believes that, if we do, it will be with a midfield team more than likely – sparking questions over whether Ricciardo would be motivated to take on such a challenge:
“Ricciardo’s return depends on who else is in the market. It really depends on who else is there,” Chandhok told GIVEMESPORT exclusively.
“There’s always younger talents coming in. It’s tricky. You just have to read the market. It’s impossible for us to see early, but I think it will be hard for Daniel to come back.
“But then, Nico Hulkenberg comes back after three years away and so it just depends on where the market goes. It’s not impossible but I just don’t see it happening with a top team. It might happen with a midfield team, if he’s willing to go there.
“It’s also down to his motivation and how willing he is to come back for not very much money. Because he wants to be back in F1 but if Daniel still wants $10 million, then he’s probably not going to find a midfield team willing to pay him $10 million.”
There are just 20 seats available in F1, of course, and a great deal more drivers vying for one of those seats, so only time will tell if we do see multi-Grand Prix winner Ricciardo back in one of those spots.
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