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Ricciardo on notice?

NEWS STORY
28/05/2022

As he crashes out of free practice, McLaren boss, Zak Browns reveals that there are "mechanisms" in place which would allow for an early end to Daniel Ricciardo's contract.

A week that began with a "really, really sad" race at Barcelona got that little bit worse when Daniel Ricciardo crashed out of second free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Having finished an impressive seventh in the opening session, the Australian lost the MCL36 in the Swimming Pool complex on his first flying lap, causing extensive damage to the left-front of the car.

"It was strange," he told reporters. "I think if anyone crashes there you normally see on the exit if they take maybe too much kerb in Turn 14 and then lose the car. But I already started losing the car pretty much before Turn 13.

"We pushed a little too far probably in a couple areas with the set-up," he admitted. "We had a good morning and obviously you try a few things for FP2 to try and maximise a bit more performance but let's say we overstepped it and you don't know until you try it.

"Obviously, it was my first lap so I couldn't really get much of a read on it obviously, it happened straight away. I tried my best to save it, but I couldn't."

Earlier in the week, following a disappointing performance in Spain, Zak Brown had said that "other than Monza and a couple of other races", Ricciardo hadn't lived up to expectations, thereby sowing the seeds of doubt that all might not be well between the Australian and the team.

Indeed, to further boost the debate that was already taking place on social media, in the seconds after the crash Ricciardo was asked "is the car OK?" to which he replied "I'm OK!".

While Brown and Andreas Seidl have vowed to work with the Australian and help him overcome his issues with the car, the American, who is attending the Indy 500 this weekend, has revealed that there are "mechanisms" in Ricciardo's contract which would allow an early termination of his contract which runs to the end of next season.

"I don't want to get into the contract (details)," said Brown on Friday. "But there are mechanisms in which we're committed to each other and then there's mechanisms in which we're not.

"I've spoken with Daniel about it," he continued, "we're not getting the results that we both hoped for, but we're both going to continue to push.

"I think he showed at Monza he can win races," he added, the Australian having won seven races with Red Bull. "We also need to continue to develop our race car, it's not capable of winning races, but we'd like to see him further up the grid.

"We'll just play it," he said, "I don't want to say ‘one race at a time' because we're not going to one race at a time, but we'll just see how things develop, what he wants to do."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Monaco, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Superbird70, 28/05/2022 15:18

"Norris seems to be coping."

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2. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 28/05/2022 15:11

"Ricciardo seems to have had some unique struggles irrespective of which team he is/has driven for.

Some drivers can adapt to a car’s limitations, some need a car that suits their driving style. This season with new cars has highlighted this difference."

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3. Posted by Superbird70, 28/05/2022 13:44

"Norris seems to be coping."

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 28/05/2022 12:02

"This is a car problem not a driver issue."

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5. Posted by Wokingchap, 28/05/2022 10:13

"I think Daniel needs encouragement now, not threats."

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