It is the end of the road for Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren. The team announced today that Daniel’s contract would be terminated early by mutual agreement.
The move is no surprise given the discussions and legal ramifications of Oscar Piastri’s refusal to join Alpine in favor of joining McLaren. The move caught Alpine out but it appears it has also ended Daniel’s tenure there prematurely.
The big question is, will this signal the end of F1 for Daniel or will he go to another team? All the top spots are taken so this leaves precious few options.
Alpine is being suggested but his stark departure in 2020 may have left a bad taste in Renault’s mouth. Nothing would surprise me though and things have changed at Alpine since Dan left and they may not have a lot of options for a seasoned driver there.
Alfa Romeo is another being discussed as an option but that would mean the team would have to part with Zho Guanyu and to be fair, he’s done a great job so far this year as a rookie. It would be a shame to see him go. They also have a veteran in Valtteri Bottas.
Haas may have a seat open if they part ways with Mick Schumacher but the bigger question for me is, would Dan want to go there or would he rather race at a top team in another series?
Williams might be the last team considered as a replacement for Latifi and this would seem to be a good deal for the team, I am not sure if Dan wants to drive at the back of the grid given where he’s come from. Yes, he has struggled with the new cars but this would find him at the very back of the grid.
In the end, I think Dan has struggled with the new cars since 2015 and to be honest, I think he may find life outside F1 more fulfilling in a top team in WEC, IMSA or even NASCAR. Dan is a terrific personality and brings a lot of energy to any program and any team in one of those series would do well to hire Dan. He’s also a very good driver but just hasn’t flourished with the new cars in F1.
McLaren Press Release:
McLaren Racing and Daniel Ricciardo can confirm that Daniel’s 2023 contract has been terminated early as both parties have mutually agreed that he will leave the team at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Daniel joined McLaren Racing in 2021 and has enjoyed some racing highlights during his time with the team, including winning the 2021 Italian Grand Prix in Monza. McLaren were the only team to achieve a one-two last season en route to securing fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship.
The team will confirm its full 2023 driver line-up in due course.
Daniel Ricciardo, said:
“It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons but following several months of discussions with Zak & Andreas we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season. I’ll be announcing my own future plans in due course but regardless of what this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza, last season. I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren both trackside and back in Woking and will be giving my all on and off track as we enjoy the remainder of the season together. I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be a part of a sport that I love so much and look forward to what comes next.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren F1 Team, said:
“I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication and contribution over the last two seasons so far. Despite the shared challenges, he has always turned up with a fighting spirit and positivity and helped the entire team to always keep pushing forward. We will never forget that memorable race win in Monza which was a great boost for the whole team. We still have an important battle in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of us for the remainder of the season and we look forward to battle this out with Daniel and Lando.”
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:
“Daniel has been a great addition to McLaren, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. I’d like to thank him for all of his efforts over the last two seasons both trackside and back at base. It’s no secret that we hoped we could achieve more together but seeing him stand on the top step of the podium as a McLaren driver was a highlight. We wish him well for the future and let’s go enjoy the rest of the season together.”
As a fan of Dan, I’m disappointed but having watched F1 for over 40 years, we all knew it was coming. Sure, McLaren will need to pay him a lot of money, but he’s costing them a lot of money by not being 4th in the WCC.
This may be an odd theory, but I’d personally like to see Dan at Williams for a couple of years. Yea, it’s back of the grid, but it’s a team where podiums are not expected, points can be had, and they haven’t given up completely. A couple years could let Dan refocus and get grounded without feeling like he has to make a podium in a car that will not realistically achieve it. Just a thought. ~X8
You know I know this is the way it is, and top level sportspersons have to believe in themselves strongly, but it takes a lot of balls to ask for money for screwing up. Think of what he’s already cost this team by performing desperately below what level they were paying him to perform at. He’s gone a significant distance to destroying the team financially, and they have to pay him to stop. There’s an equity argument that he should have to give back what he’s been paid, never mind receive a loser bonus.