Daniel Ricciardo ‘in discussions with Mercedes’ and may become option to replace Hamilton

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DANIEL RICCIARDO is believed to be in talks with Mercedes over a move to Lewis Hamilton’s team

Lewis Hamilton shows off his 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 car

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Daniel Ricciardo is reportedly in discussions with Mercedes about becoming a reserve driver for the team – a role that could see him replace Lewis Hamilton in the future. The former Red Bull man has been looking for a new job after being brutally sacked by McLaren last month as the Papaya outfit sought to replace him with Oscar Piastri. 

Ricciardo has flopped since his move to McLaren in 2021 regularly falling below the standards set by team mate Lando Norris. He currently sits 63 points the Brit having amassed just 19 points all season in a car that is clearly capable of better. 

The Aussie was considered one of the best drivers on the grid when he initially made the move to the Woking-based outfit having regularly over-performed at former teams Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Renault. While his stint at McLaren has been characterised by disappointment there have been some impressive highs, particularly a race win in the Italian Grand Prix last year. 

Now Mercedes could try and tap into his unfilled potential by making an approach to bring him into the fold as their reserve driver according to Formula One journalist Joe Saward. The role could see him eventually replace Hamilton should the 37-year-old decide to retire in the coming years. He would also almost certainly be in line for some practice appearances replacing either the seven-time world champion or his team mate George Russell. 

READ MORE: Piastri admits Ricciardo regret after McLaren switch

Daniel Ricciardo 'in discussions with Mercedes' and may become option to replace Hamilton

Daniel Ricciardo is reportedly in talks with Mercedes and could be an option to replace Hamilton (Image: GETTY)

Saward has suggested that Ricciardo could take a year’s sabbitical before joining the Silver Arrows in 2024 where he has set his sights on Hamilton’s seat. 

“The latest word is that Daniel might take a year off in 2023 if he is not offered the Alpine drive,” the journalist wrote in his latest blog.

“Then, as an experienced F1 winner, he could return to the sport as a reserve in 2024, helping to rebuild his confidence by measuring his performance against the top names.

“I hear he has been talking to Mercedes about such a role, which would put him in with a chance of a race drive in the future if Lewis Hamilton decides that he has had enough. That must happen eventually and while Mercedes has George Russell in place, it is waiting for the next big thing.”

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Daniel Ricciardo 'in discussions with Mercedes' and may become option to replace Hamilton

Daniel Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix for McLaren but has often fallen below expectations (Image: GETTY)

Another potential option for the Australian is a return to Alpine, replacing Aston Martin bound Fernando Alonso. However, Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly appears to be the favourite for that seat with other potential vacancies at backmarkers Williams and Haas unlikely to appeal to the eight-time winner. 

It remains to be seen what Ricciardo’s next big move to be but Mercedes looks certain to be under his consideration with the possiblity of replacing Hamilton a particularly exciting proposition. 

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