Daniel Ricciardo will reportedly not be reuniting with Red Bull next season, with F1 journalist Ted Kravitz backflipping on an earlier story about the Aussie star's future.
The 33-year-old Ricciardo is destined to spend the 2023 season watching from the pitlane after agreeing to terminate his deal with McLaren a year early.
During last weekend's United States Grand Prix, another torrid affair for Ricciardo on track, Sky Sports reporter Kravitz said the Aussie star was closing in on a deal to be Red Bull's reserve driver next season.
Red Bull and Mercedes are the only two teams who bring a dedicated reserve driver to every grand prix weekend, with other drivers often loaned between teams in the unlikely event of a reserve being required.
However Kravitz has since looked to revise the information he was given, reporting during the week that Ricciardo was actually leaning more towards taking up a reserve role with Mercedes.
Ricciardo has been linked to Mercedes after his deal with McLaren came to a premature end, and is close with seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
Kravitz said he had initially thought Red Bull had the upper hand in negotiations.
“You know I said he seems to be closing in on a reserve driver job with one of the two big teams? I thought it was more likely to be Red Bull than Mercedes,” he said.
“Can I reverse that? Edit that? It’s more likely to be Mercedes than Red Bull.
“Danny Ricc in a Mercedes outfit! I’ve seen stranger in Formula 1.”
Ricciardo had dismissed the reports of him joining Red Bull as 'just rumours' after qualifying last weekend, and it remains to be seen where he will actually end up in 2023.
He did confirm to motorsport.com that he was 'talking' to teams, but added 'here’s no pen on paper or anything like that yet'.
Daniel Ricciardo still in talks over F1 future
Ricciardo drove for Red Bull from 2014 to 2018 before sensationally leaving the team to link up with Renault.
After two years at Renault he then joined McLaren, but has never managed to achieve the same results he experienced at Red Bull when he became one of the stars of F1.
Speaking last week, Ricciardo said he was hoping to remain involved in F1 in 2023.
“You will see me around,” he said.
“It’s going to look different for me, but there is still very much still a plan in place.
“So, it’s not that I am checking out and saying ‘see you later’, it’s far from that.
“I’m just putting in a plan to honestly try to get me back to the front of the grid and win races and do all the stuff I know I can do.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull clinched the Formula One contructors' title after recently-crowned champion Max Verstappen won the US Grand Prix despite a disastrous pitstop during the race.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton was second and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari completed the podium in third.
Two safety car phases were not a problem for Verstappen, but a disastrous pitstop on lap 36 with a sticky front tyre saw the Dutchman drop to fifth.
He then put up a fight, first with Leclerc and later with Hamilton, to retake the lead with six laps remaining.
Verstappen's win was his 13th of the season, equalling the Formula One record.
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