Wherever he ends up next year, Daniel Ricciardo is going to keep on smiling.

The most famous pearly whites in Formula One reappeared on Monday as the Australian driver posted on Instagram for the first time since it was reported he was being replaced at McLaren by Oscar Piastri in 2023.

Enjoying his mid-season break in what appeared to be his sunny California base, Ricciardo kept it short and sweet.

“Hello,” he said, adding a sun emoji as he stood in a swimming pool.

Ricciardo has been hailed for his dignity and classy response to constant speculation about his future in the sport during a rocky 2022 season.

The Aussie F1 veteran became the story of the F1 mid-year break when it was reported he was being moved on for his 21-year-old countryman Piastri.

The news erupted last week after Fernando Alonso blindsided the F1 world when he jumped into Sebastian Vettel’s vacated seat at Aston Martin for 2023.

Alpine then announced Piastri would be the man to replace Alonso, only for the Melburnian to reject the seat, a bold move for a man who’s never driven an F1 car in anger.

But the news leaked over the weekend that it was Ricciardo’s seat Piastri was set to take, while McLaren were set to cut the eight-time race winner loose for the prodigious youngster — a move which would reportedly cost McLaren $21m in a payout for Ricciardo.

It leaves Ricciardo’s career at a crossroads after two largely miserable seasons in papaya, outside of the 2021 win at Monza.

Ricciardo had been regularly beaten by teammate Lando Norris and struggled to get his head around the car.

The 32-year-old left Renault for McLaren, but could return to the Enstone unit now branded Alpine, who are open to the move.

Alpine still believes it has an iron-clad deal with Piastri and are still planning for the young Aussie to take the seat, despite reports the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board had cleared Piastri’s move.

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