(Motorsport-Total.com) – McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo go their separate ways at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season! As it became known on Wednesday afternoon, the two sides agreed to an early termination of the working relationship. The Australian’s contract with the team from Woking effectively runs until the end of the 2023 season.
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Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren is coming to an end
“It has been an honor to be part of the McLaren family for the past two seasons but after several months of discussions with Zack [Brown] and Andrew [Seidl] We decided to end my contract with the team early and agreed to separate at the end of this season”, confirms Ricciardo.
In 2021, the Australian joined McLaren from Renault, but ran into serious problems alongside young Lando Norris. With no discernible improvement in form this season either, McLaren looked for potential alternatives – and found them at Oscar Piastre.
The native Ricciardo was confirmed by Alpine as the new regular driver for 2023 at the start of the summer break, but shortly thereafter refused to be promoted. Because Piastri was said to have already negotiated a deal with McLaren, as Ricciardo still had a contract in force.
No announcement from Piastri yet
Although Ricciardo has publicly confirmed that he remains committed to the team and the sport and will not only run away, but ahead of the Formula 1 race in Belgium, he has now announced that there will be a class at the end of the year.
This would clear the way for Bestre if his health was not made public. But even in this case, the relationship between the driver and the team can be so tense that it is possible and perhaps the decision will be made to terminate the contract in exchange for monetary compensation.
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McLaren will officially announce the cockpit alongside Lando Norris “in due course”.
What will Ricardo do in 2023?
Ricciardo will end the 2022 season with McLaren, but then he will be free for other teams. One possibility is to return to Enstone, where he will swap places with Piastre and take part in the races in 2019 and 2020.
A change has also been repeatedly speculated in the IndyCar series, where McLaren has its own team. “If it matters to him, we’ll get into conversations,” general manager Zak Brown assures. “But I think he is very focused on Formula 1.”
Ricciardo himself is leaving his future open for the time being: “I will announce my own plans for the future in due course,” he says.
“But no matter what the next chapter brings, I have no regrets and I am proud of the dedication and work you put in at McLaren last season, especially winning at Monza.”
Brown: We hope to achieve more together
“I have enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren, both at the track and in Woking, and will do my best on and off the track as we enjoy the rest of the season together. I have never been excited to be a part of the sport I love so much and look forward to the next step.”
Managing Director Zak Brown warmly says goodbye to his pilot, saying it was a “a pleasure” to work with him. But he also says, “It’s no secret that we hoped we could achieve more together.”
“Despite the common challenges, he always emerged with a fighting spirit and a positive attitude and helped the whole team move forward,” adds Andreas Seidl, Team Leader. “We have an important battle ahead in the constructors’ championship for the rest of the season and we’re looking forward to fighting it with Daniel and Lando.”
Surer: Ricciardo ‘hopeless’
McLaren and Alpine are vying for fourth place in the constructors’ championship in the current Formula 1 season, separated by just four points. But while Lando Norris has already contributed 76 points, Ricciardo has just 19 points last year, clearly losing the team’s in-house duel with 115 to 160 points.
So the breakup makes sense for Formula 1 expert Mark Surer: “You don’t see any increase in it, and a driver who doesn’t improve and earns a lot of money, you just have to say: what’s the point?” . “Then I’d better put a young driver in the car who learns and then maybe perform better in a year. But with Ricciardo, that’s pretty hopeless.”
The Swiss is actually a “Ricardo fan,” he admits to Motorsport-Total.com. “For me, nobody could overtake as much as they could,” he says. “He could follow you from a distance and then still hit the brakes and get into the corner. The way he did it was exceptional.”
“He had a skill and what happened? He got lost.”
Norris: ‘You’ve shown how fast he is’
His teammate Norris is also surprised by Australia’s underperforming curve. Because two years at McLaren will not do justice to his skills: “He has proven in his career how fast he is”, confirms the Briton On the podcast “Beyond the Grid”.
“He never won a boring race at Red Bull,” he says. “It was always exciting.” He has often shown what he can do, said Norris, who noted Ricciardo’s strong performance in several Monaco tournaments. Everyone knows how good he is and what he can do.”
But because he hasn’t shown that ability during his two years at McLaren, Ricciardo’s time at Woking will come to an end.
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