'Was going to retire': Daniel Ricciardo admission baffles F1 world

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Seen here, Daniel Ricciardo reacting to news that F1 is heading to Las Vegas in 2023.
Daniel Ricciardo said he was going to retire until he heard the news about F1 heading to Las Vegas. Pic: F1

Daniel Ricciardo has left Formula One fans scratching their heads after an apparent joke about retiring from the sport.

Ricciardo sparked confusion in the F1 world with his reaction to news this week that a night race in Las Vegas had been added to the calendar for next year.

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F1 announced Las Vegas will be taken over on a Saturday night with the famous strip a part of the course as the cars race past famous landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains and Caesars Palace.

"This is an incredible moment for Formula One that demonstrates the huge appeal and growth of our sport with a third race in the United States," said Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula One.

Fans understandably reacted to the news with excitement at the prospect of a grand prix being held under the bright lights of Sin City.

However, Ricciardo decided to use the big announcement to drop a bombshell statement of his own.

In a video posted on F1's official Twitter account that showed the drivers' reactions to the Vegas news, the Aussie couldn't help but have a bit of a laugh.

“I was gonna retire,” he said while giggling on the video. “I will not no more.”

Ricciardo has a reputation in F1 as being a bit of a joker, so his cheeky remark should have been taken with more than a grain of salt.

However, many fans began questioning whether the McLaren driver - whose had his struggles so far in 2022 - was actually being serious.

Ricciardo appeared to clarify on his own social account that he was in fact just kidding about retiring.

"Forgive me for my sin city here we come baby," Ricciardo tweeted.

F1 coming to Las Vegas in 2023

The Las Vegas Grand Prix, a major coup for the sport's American owners' Liberty Media, joins the calendar next season on an expected initial three-year contract.

It is anticipated that the race will be staged in the the second half of November, possibly to coincide with Thanksgiving weekend in America, and could start as late as 10pm local time.

The race will also defer from recent F1 tradition by taking place on a Saturday.

The announcement comes as a welcome boost to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali after the sport controversially pressed ahead with last weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite fierce opposition from Lewis Hamilton and his fellow drivers following a missile strike 12 miles east of the Jeddah circuit.

"This is an incredible moment for Formula One that demonstrates the huge appeal and growth of our sport with a third race in the US," said Domenicali, who joined Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei in Las Vegas for Wednesday's announcement.

"Las Vegas is a destination known around the world for its excitement, hospitality, thrills, and of course, the famous Strip.

"There is no better place for Formula One to race than in the global entertainment capital of the world and we cannot wait to be here next year."

The F1 has announced a race on Las Vegas, US, in 2023. (Getty Images)
The F1 has announced a race on Las Vegas, US, in 2023. (Getty Images)

In an unusual step, F1 and Liberty Media, rather than a local organiser, will promote the Grand Prix with American global entertainment company Live Nation.

"The potential of Formula One has been well demonstrated over the last several seasons and the Las Vegas GP will only take it to the next level."

The 50-lap race will be the third staged in America, joining Austin and Miami.

The latter makes its debut on the F1 calendar at the Hard Rock Stadium on May 8.

with agencies

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