Australian Daniel Ricciardo recognised on Thursday that the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could be his last in Formula One 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.
The Australian, who will be replaced at McLaren by rookie compatriot Oscar Piastri, has been linked to possible reserve roles at champions Red Bull and Mercedes but he said nothing was confirmed.
“Progress is being made, we’ll see,” he said.
“Hopefully you can see my good looks again next year to some degree.”