Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed he will not be on the F1 grid in 2023 - and is also now adamant another series holds no interest for him.
The decisions of Alpine and AlphaTauri to sign Pierre Gasly and Nyck de Vries respectively for next season closed off two potential avenues for the 33-year-old.
With only seats at Haas and Williams now remaining, Ricciardo has no interest in either and is prepared to bide his time and wait for opportunities to arise in 2024.
"To be honest, the Gasly news I was aware of," said Ricciardo. "I knew they were talking for a while and I knew they [Alpine] were very interested in Pierre.
“I was prepared for that and no surprise, so we were trying to navigate our way around that and figure out what was next.
“But I think the reality is now I won’t be on the grid in '23. I think it’s now just trying to set up for ’24.
“I think there could be some better opportunities then so that’s really what all this confirms and now where the sights are set.”
Ricciardo not mentally ready to leave F1
Ricciardo has been linked with the reserve role at Mercedes, which is now available given De Vries' switch to AlphaTauri, although 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button has suggested this would not be a good move for his career.
Ricciardo, though, has made clear his plan "is still to be involved in F1” despite links with other series such as NASCAR.
Claiming he is "hitting pause for a little bit", he added: "As far as my F1 career goes the full intention is for ’24.
"Sure, it could open up opportunities to maybe do some of that stuff [NASCAR] but I feel if it's going to deviate away from my target then I would still say it's not really where I'm looking.
"As fun or as cool as it sounds to compete in something else, the truth is, mentally I'm not there yet.
"I'm still so engaged in this and a bit of time off or out of a seat will probably do me good, so I will probably use that as opposed to trying to jump into something else and stay busy in a different category.
"Pretty convincingly I would say it wouldn't happen anywhere else."