Daniel Ricciardo has made it clear that he is yet to decide his future until after this year's Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix – but the planets are aligning for a Supercars run, from a brand perspective at least, given Ford's recent news that it will supply engines with Red Bull Racing from 2026.
Fuelling the fire is the recent drive from Ricciardo of a Ford Mustang Supercar in the United States, as the Australian's role as an ambassador for Red Bull Racing goes into full swing ahead of the 2023 F1 season.
“Bit of Aussie in me, a little bit of a V8 Supercar, here in Michigan which is far from home, but I felt at home in it,” Ricciardo posted after the drive in the Gen2 Ford Performance liveried Mustang.
Part of Red Bull's promotion following the announcement with Ford – which the company says will not impact its commitment to Supercars in Australia as it runs the S650-based Gen3 Mustang for the first time in 2023 – Ricciardo has already been spruiking F-Series trucks and Dearborn's road-going products as part of the package.
While the West Australian has said that he wants to race at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, sometime in his future – even previously discussing the opportunity to race a McLaren at the Bathurst 12 Hours with former boss Zak Brown – there's been no commitment on which direction he will pursue should he not wish to chase another full-time F1 seat.
While he's ruled out driving an IndyCar on oval tracks, Ricciardo is open to driving a NASCAR on ovals, and has driven an ex-Dale Earnhardt 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR in a demo run at the 2021 US Grand Prix.
What's more, with the arrival of Gen3 Supercar, Erebus Motorsport driver Brodie Kostecki has compared his new Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro with the stock cars he raced in the USA as a teenager.
Ricciardo drove a Kelly Racing Nissan Altima Supercar ahead of the 2019 AGP, and also told Speedcafe.com that he was keeping an eye on the Bathurst 1000 despite competing at the Japanese Grand Prix on the same weekend last year.
For Ricciardo, the new role as third driver at Red Bull Racing and the team's new collaboration with Ford Motor Company brings Supercars and his employer closer together than ever – fuelling fan desire Down Under for a cameo or even greater commitment for him to race in the Repco Supercars Championship at some stage.
The decision that Ricciardo makes while sitting out the 2023 Australian Grand Prix – the first AGP he won't be driving in since 2012 – is all to play for.
So, would you like to see Daniel Ricciardo make the switch to Supercars?