F1: Daniel Ricciardo Will Leave McLaren At The End Of 2022 Season
By Sahil Gupta
3 mins read
Published on August 25, 2022
- Rumors of Riccardo's exit first surfaced in July
- Contractually, it is believed that McLaren would've had to pay Riccardo to not drive for them next year
- Ricciardo will likely end up in his old team -- Alpine
Just as F1 returns after its summer break, the worst kept secret in F1 has come to the fore. McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo have jointly announced that the Australian driver and 8 time Grand Prix winner will be leaving the team at the end of this season, terminating their contract one year earlier. On the weekend of the Hungarian GP, Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from F1 which triggered a set of chain reactions. Soon after the race, Fernando Alonso shockingly announced that he would be leaving Alpine F1 at the end of this year to join Aston Martin on a multi-year contract replacing Vettel.
While this happened, Alpine logically was planning on putting its academy graduate and F2 champion Oscar Piastri in his place, but it emerged that Piastri behind Alpine’s back was negotiating a deal with McLaren where he would be replacing his fellow Australian. Alpine hurriedly announced Piastri as its 2023 driver, but then the young Aussie shot back saying that he was announced as a Alpine driver without his consent, with no contract being signed and he added that he wouldn’t be driving for the French outfit.
Now, many suspected while this was happening that he had a deal of some kind locked in with McLaren. McLaren kept quiet all this while but for McLaren to get the Australian into Ricciardo’s seat it had to negotiate an exit plan and a financial settlement with the 8 time race winner. Seems like that has been achieved though neither Ricciardo or Zak Brown, the McLaren’s CEO have come out and revealed the details.
“I think it's very important to state that from my point of view, and I think from the team's side, there was a huge commitment and a lot of effort went in order to make this work. The same happened from the Daniel's side,” said Andreas Seidl, the team principal at McLaren.
“The most important thing for me is we always work together with our colleagues but also race drivers. We have an open and honest and transparent dialogue internally between each other, which we always had. I think that is what happened there. We tried everything we could from both sides. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it work, which is obviously my responsibility being in charge of the team. That's how I see it,” he added.
Ricciardo’s future in F1 is clouded as he as of now doesn’t have a seat for the 2023 season. His former team Alpine which he left to join McLaren is an obvious choice and on current form, has the faster car than McLaren. But the way he left Alpine by announcing at the start of the 2020 season that he would be leaving for McLaren, he irked the top Renault management including the CEO Luca De Meo. That being said, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has opened the door for his return.
Other options perhaps aren’t so appetising -- he reportedly has an offer from Haas to replace Mick Schumacher, but likely that would only be an option if Alpine were not to choose him. McLaren has also clarified that they will not prevent him from driving on the grid next year. Ricciardo on his part says he is very motivated and wants to pursue success in F1.
“I think for the future, what lies ahead, I am not sure yet… I am not sure yet. But we’ll see. I look back at this time with McLaren with a smile. I learnt a lot about myself and I think things that will help me with the next step in my career but also just in general, in life. The sport, I still love it… I still love it. This hasn’t effected any of that. I still have that fire in me and that belief in my belly that I can do this at the highest level,” Ricciardo said in a post on his social media.
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