Lewis Hamilton has claimed Danierl Ricciardo “should be racing” despite rumours the McLaren driver could male a switch to Mercedes. He stressed Riucciardo was “too talented” to not be on the grid next season and admitted the Australian had “earned the right” to be racing.
Hamilton said: “I think he should be racing . I think he’s far too talented to. He’s earned the right to be amongst us all racing. Of course if he’s a part of our team it would be great but mean third [driver] role isn’t really a thing.
“If I was managing him, he would be racing.” It comes after speculation Mercedes were looking at the former Red Bull star as a receive driver option from next season.
He could then become Hamilton’s potential replacement at the Silver Arrows if the seven-time champion decided to walk away. A source told the Daily Mail: “Mercedes are thinking about Ricciardo to cover off the possibility of (Hamilton) walking away at the end of next season.
“Having Daniel in their camp means they wouldn’t be left high and dry. It would also mean George would be the main man from that point in 2024.”
Ricciardo was asked to shed some light over his F1 future after speculation he could take a race seat at Haas or Williams. It comes after he was axed by Mclaren over the summer break as the team opted to sign highly-rated rookie Oscar Piastri.
He added: “In short I don’t have anything teed up. I don’t have anything confirmed. I think when I do I will be the first to tell you so I don’t really, there’s no reason for me to hold back any information now.
“There are no secrets. It’s kind of all open and out there. I definitely, I’m sure over time the right thing whatever that ends up being will make sense. I think as well it’s not just what’s right for next year, it’s what’s right for my future. It goes beyond 2023.”