Daniel Ricciardo accepts that the 2022 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could be his last race in Formula 1 as well as a farewell to McLaren.
The 33-year-old driver is leaving the former champions by mutual agreement after Sunday’s race at Yas Marina, with no race seats available at any other team for the eight times race winner.
“Mentally I’m not treating it like it’s going to be my last ever race, but it could be,” he told reporters.
“I know that nothing’s guaranteed in the future so I’m going out to enjoy it, I’m not going to get too, let’s say, emotional about the thought that ‘oh, is it the last one or not?’ I do want to enjoy it and take it for what it is.”
Ricciardo will have a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race after causing a collision with Haas’s Kevin Magnussen at the previous round in Brazil last Sunday.
“I normally go better when I have penalties so I actually asked for a five-place penalty, but three will do so there you go,” he joked.
“Progress is being made, we’ll see. Hopefully, you can see my good looks again next year to some degree,” added the Big Smiling Australian.
Records show that the Australian will be competing in his 232nd Grand Prix, when he lines up on the grid at Yas Marina on Sunday. He has celebrated 32 times on F1 podiums, eight times as a winner, famously making the “Shoey’ infamous. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)