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Ricciardo set to leave McLaren


Multiple sources are claiming that Daniel Ricciardo heads into the summer break aware that he is currently without an F1 drive for 2023 after McLaren appears to have signed countryman Oscar Piastri.

Since Tuesday's flurry of activity there has been a telling silence, not helped by the fact that the impending two-week shutdown allows for those involved to drop under the radar.

Nonetheless, numerous sources are now claiming that McLaren has agreed a deal with Piastri which leaves Ricciardo looking for an alternative seat.

Despite the team's denials the writing has been on the wall for some time, and though Zak Brown subsequently 'clarified' the original comments he made about Ricciardo not living up to expectations the doubt has remained.

More surprisingly however, is the volte face from Andreas Seidl who has constantly insisted that the team was sticking with Ricciardo. It is now suggested that the German was involved in early talks with Piastri's manager, Mark Webber, with whom Seidl worked when he was running the Porsche WEC programme.

Though Alpine is sticking to its guns claiming it has a legal claim on Piastri's services, if and when the matter goes before the contract Recognition Board it is likely it will find in the driver's favour as his contract had to be agreed by 31 July. It wasn't.

Indeed, it was the day after that Aston Martin announced the signing of Fernando Alonso, the move which kick-started the saga.

Adding to the mystery is the claim that Piastri signed for McLaren on 30 July.

The most likely option for Ricciardo is a return to Alpine (nee Renault), though Haas and Williams have been mentioned in recent days as many anticipate a major game of musical chairs over the summer.

Speaking exclusively to Speedcafe over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, Ricciardo admitted that he needed the summer break more than ever.

"I definitely think I'm in a different headspace," he said, when asked about his mentality compared to this time last year. "But with that being said, I think a break is, even if you don't think it, I think it's always valuable."

Indeed, fully refreshed after a difficult start to his maiden season with the Woking outfit, Ricciardo went on to win the Italian Grand Prix.

"It's just nice to, even if you're kind of flying at the moment, I think a break is still nice and even just to let yourself reset, recover mentally, switch off, all these things. So, I'm looking forward to it.

"I guess it hasn't been the first half of the season I wanted," he admitted, "but I'm also just handling it better I think than last year. I'm not screaming for the break, but I'm certainly going to enjoy it and I think it will be again useful for me."


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1. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 07/08/2022 19:42

"How can McLaren have not delivered a car for Daniel Ricciardo to perform when Ricciardo's team mate, with the same car, has delivered better results?

The teams have to deliver a car for the engineers to setup for the drivers, based on the feedback from the drivers and the data from the car as well as the design, build and test process.

We hear from multiple teams that a certain car suits a certain driver at a certain time.

The great drivers are those that (with their side of the garage) get the best out of what they've got.

A current driver that comes to mind and is related to this current situation with DR and McLaren is Sainz who left for Ferrari, got up to speed relatively quickly in his first year. This season he's been slower than his team mate however has also improved to be there or there abouts, particularly in quali.

DR on the other hand took longer to get up to speed in 2021 and now has a similar situation in 2022, compared to his team mate.

It is too risky for a team to focus on one driver as that driver could get ill or injured, leaving the team with a "number two" that can't get into the points regularly or a reserve driver that struggles to even drive the thing.

I'm confident that DR will one day in the right team at the right team rise again to the top, it's just that it hasn't worked out at this time with this team."

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2. Posted by kenji, 07/08/2022 3:11

"@mds167 make some good points there. If we cast our memories to back the Webber/RB/Vettel days, it was Marko who was interviewed on Servus re certain elements of the racing between the duo when he said that the new car was designed around what Vettel needed. It was then said that Webber had a driving different style and set up needs and how would that fit, to which he said, "Webber will just have to change his style of driving!!" We all know what happened as a result of that. I am not saying that McLaren have done the same but even Norris says that the handling of this years car still has elements of perormance difficulty associated with the previous 'old' rules/car that proved difficult for Ricciardo to master. One day we may be privy to the inside run but ATM it would all be conjecture. Daniel is, I believe, an honest broker and he has put his hand up on numerous accasions but I do believe that McLaren haven't always reciprocated in a truly like manner."

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3. Posted by mds167, 06/08/2022 17:05

"It would be interesting to see a comparison between Lando and Riccardo to see where DR loses out.

I tend to agree with @Kenji, DR was sold a package that didn't deliver, at least not to his driving style.

A real shame, with hindsight DR would probably have been best served to stay where he was - especially if he ends up back there.

With regard to contracts, honesty and PR, when do you ever get anything other than BS? A contract is a contract - until it isn't - and you won't give your rivals an inkling of what is really happening, nor would they you! And that's not just F1...I don't really blame ZB, RB or even Seidel for maintaining a party line."

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4. Posted by Chester, 06/08/2022 12:02

"Do you think the power delivery of the Mercedes power unit vs. the Renault power unit has anything to do with Ricciardo's poorer performance at McLaren?

Ricciardo did well at both Red Bull and Renault, not up to Max's level but quite good.

I keep thinking how well Ricciardo did compared to Vettel while both were at Red Bull."

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5. Posted by kenji, 06/08/2022 10:34

"@ Bill Hopgood....'McLaren did say...' McLaren have said lots of things lately and some of their more recent amount to zip as the current situation clearly demonstrates. Zak Brown clearly sold Ricciardo a package that didn't deliver as evidenced by the results. A team needs to provide a driver with a car that delivers and this is clearly not the case. One report i read some time back this year quoted people close to Daniel stating that he was almost at the end of the road with this car after trying so many ways of getting it to support his driving style without success. I'm sure that both sides have put in a great deal of energy to get the car and the driver into the right place but it has failed and as a result we are witnessing a fractured relationship. Brown is a super salesman but with so many contracts floating around and possible legal challenges in the wings perhap Daniel is best out of it all. Some supporting statements from McLaren would go a way to restoring some decency to the situation but McLaren are remaining silent and the longer this goes on the worse they appear."

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6. Posted by F One, 06/08/2022 10:13

"No sympathy for RIC. He's been utterly awful for the last season and a half and absolutely deserves to be sacked."

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7. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 06/08/2022 9:14

"@kenji, McLaren did say they were working to keep Ricciardo in the team, however, it has been months since that infamous "we're not happy, he's not happy, I'm not happy with where we / I am right now" statement from Zak Brown and Ricciardo himself.
In terms of the back room dealing, well the reaction caused by those earlier statements no doubt would have caused both parties to keep things out of the media, especially if their differences had been sorted out.
McLaren will need to do some damage control as you state as this does not look good.

Just thinking about this situation and this could be the first time, publicly at least, that Ricciardo has been "let go" by a team. Usually it seems that he is the one that decides to go."

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8. Posted by kenji, 06/08/2022 2:10

"Business is business and the end game makes no allowances for sentiment. Sometimes events move so fast that even the best laid plans are not able to be successfully implemented. What I despise mostly is back room dealing in outright deception. It was just days ago that McL:aren specifically stated that Ricciardo would be in their car for '23 only to appear now as outright fabricators of the truth. We need to see some positive PR action from McLaren now as it appears that, little by little, events are becoming a bit clearer and there are a few people who need to be outed for their apparent manipulation. There is only one team that would currently be able to support and nourish an undoubtedly fractured mojo. As I have said before...Renault/Alpine should be the first port of call. Go'll get massive support from all your fans and followers...all 11 million of them. "

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9. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 05/08/2022 22:58

"I like Ricciardo's style on and off the track, as many folks do, especially going by twitter and what DR's impression is from the Drive to Survive series.

However, what is the number one mission every driver has on any racing grid where they have a team mate (with equal equipment)?

Beat that team mate.

Yes, I know there was that Monza win and it was great for DR and McLaren last year, however, Ferrari got the jump on McLaren to 3rd in the standings and now Alpine is looking to take 4th as both their drivers are usually in the hunt for points.

F1 is a prototype constructor competition first as that is where the rewards are for the team and the teams need both drivers to contribute, even when there is a clear number one driver.

Exception to this is when a driver has significant and on going backing to bring money to the team. Even then, if that driver does not qualify or bins the car regularly (especially since budget caps have come in) or is dangerous to other drivers then the team will have to replace them.

Another exception is a good if not great driver who has been injured and is getting back on form e.g. Hakkinen after his Adelaide crash.

After a period of time when the team has tried all it can to support the driver and they can also see that the driver is making every effort, then there comes a point where they have to take action and make a change.

I like Daniel Ricciardo as a McLaren driver and it would be great if after the summer break he turns things around and gets good results, however he's just not able to be constant at the moment for whatever reason, while his team mate in the other car is delivering.

As harsh as this situation is for him, he's in this situation on his performance not his potential.


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10. Posted by Endre, 05/08/2022 19:33

"@BrightonCorgi Salary maybe, but he is also looking at a nice payment from McLaren to buy him out. I wouldn't worry about his financial situation."

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11. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 05/08/2022 18:30

"Ricciardo's salary prospects have diminished as well."

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12. Posted by Rock Doc, 05/08/2022 17:37

"Let's face it Alpine is the only real option that Riccardo should be considering here. There seems to be a willingness on both sides so I'm hopeful they can come to agreement.

Riccardo definitely got caught out by the car at McLaren and Norris's pace did not help matters. The Alpine should be a better fit for him but I wonder how he will get with Ocon. Ocon has proved himself well against Alonso. It will be a challenge for Riccardo but I don't think he will mind.

Let's hope he can get a place for 2023 sorted out sooner rather than later."

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13. Posted by Superbird70, 05/08/2022 17:18

"A sabbatical in a different series and maybe a return with Andretti if F1 and Liberty can get their act(s) together."

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14. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 05/08/2022 16:57

"If he doesn't return to Alpine he might be better off shifting to WEC for a season or two, and then if there's an opportunity to come back to F1 give that a shot. I'd have to think that's a better move than Haas or Williams."

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15. Posted by Greg, 05/08/2022 16:40

"@kenji. Let's hope that if Daniel does move, it is to Alpine. Known car and known team"

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