Daniel Ricciardo has conceded that securing a race drive with a backmarker team for next season could have exaggerated the risk of a permanent F1 exit.
The Australian will not be on the grid in 2023 after leaving McLaren and rejoining Red Bull as its third driver.
Ricciardo was linked to drives with Williams and Haas after McLaren announced his axe despite a year remaining on his contract, with a move offering the chance to wipe away memories of a difficult period.
Asked as to how he balanced this opportunity against electing to spend a year on the sidelines, Ricciardo said: “I feel a bit of risk on both sides.
"But if I was to be back on the grid in ’24, this has the biggest upside in terms of I know that I’ll be a better version of myself.
“I think the risk is jumping into a seat next year and, as has been shown in my time at McLaren, nothing is guaranteed in terms of performance."
Ricciardo has won eight grands prix in his career but has tasted success just once since leaving Red Bull at the end of 2018.
Speaking on a personal level about his decision not to accept a position further down the grid, he added: "If it was, for whatever reason, to be a relatively unsuccessful campaign, then I think I would personally probably be done with the sport.
“I think I would just be, yeah, done. So that risk seems way bigger than the risk of sitting out a year.”