Unwanted Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo may sensationally defect to NASCAR racing if he fails to secure a seat on the F1 grid next year.
Ricciardo, 33, is reportedly in the sights of ambitious Trackhouse Racing Project 91 boss Justin Marks to race NASCAR.
The Perth born driver remains without a Formula One deal for next season after he and McLaren split with a year to run on his contract.
He was replaced by fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri.
Ricciardo – who has won eight races in his career – said last month he would be ‘at peace’ with sitting on the F1 sidelines as a reserve if the right career move does not eventuate.
It is believed to have prompted Trackhouse Racing boss Marks to discreetly ask the question.
Marks is desperate to bring across the world’s elite motorsport athletes into NASCAR and then drive for Trackhouse Racing.
He would also be well aware of Ricciardo’s potential market value – and knows interest would be huge if he lured the West Australian to race in the US, according to the Herald Sun.
After a four-year stint with Red Bull from 2014 to 2018, Ricciardo sought an exit at the time to further his own racing career and made the switch to Renault.
However, he only stayed at the French side for two seasons before another move – this time to McLaren, where he has been since 2021.
In 225 race starts, the Australian driver has won eight races – most recently in Monza, Italy in 2021 – and featured on the podium 32 times.
Earlier this month, British champion Lewis Hamilton backed the popular Aussie to continue his career in F1.
‘I think he should be racing, firstly,’ Hamilton said ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
‘I think he’s far too talented — he’s earnt the right to be amongst us all racing.
‘If I was managing him, he’d be racing.’