F1 fans back Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher but spots running out on grid

Ricciardo ‘had his heart set on Ferrari’ says expert in 2020

F1 fans are desperate to see Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher make F1 returns but spots are drying up on next season’s grid. A new poll from Express Sport shows a desire to see the two stars back behind the wheel next season after a year out.

A staggering 71 per cent feels Ricciardo should have another chance to race in F1. It means just 29 per cent of over 3,000 respondents do not feel he deserves another go behind the wheel after more than a decade in F1.

The Australian was axed by McLaren last season and was unable to secure a competitive race seat for this year. He decided to take a year away with the 33-year-old now Red Bull’s test and reserve driver.

At the Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo stressed he was keen to return to racing after some time on the sidelines. Meanwhile, 55 per cent of respondents claim Mick Schumacher should be back on the grid next season.

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The young German star failed to impress Haas boss Guenther Steiner who ditched the ex-Formula Two champion ahead of the final race. It left Schumacher no time to find another seat with the 24-year-old signing up as Mercedes reserve driver.

But, he is understood to be confident of a return despite admitting there was “no guarantee” he would ever be back on the grid. Ahead of the season, Schumacher commented: “Over the winter a few people have already mentioned that there’s interest. So in one sense, I’m not too worried.”

However, the pair could be left with little options as spaces on next year’s grid are being filled at a constant rate. As it stands, there are spaces at Haas, Williams, Sauber, AlphaTauri and Mercedes for 2024.

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Mercedes are unlikely to have any spots soon though with the Silver Arrows still desperate to get Lewis Hamilton to sign a new deal and George Russell certain to get an extension. Riccardo has also accepted he would not come back to race at the back of the field with the former race winner still targeting a competitive seat.

It means he could turn his nose up at offers from many midfield teams even if they made a move for the former Red Bull star. He explained: “I still am at a point where it’s not at any cost, it’s not just to be back on the grid.

“A lot of the reason for taking this year off was that I didn’t want to just jump back into a car, any car just to be one of the F1 drivers. And I still don’t see myself starting from scratch and rebuilding a career and going at it for another decade.”

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