The talk in Monaco was that Daniel Ricciardo could be on the chopping block. Although his contract runs through 2023, McLaren CEO Zak Brown made it clear the there are certain vehicles in the contract that could be , what many consider, as a get-out clause.
The ultimate question is, will McLaren choose to part ways with Ricciardo at the end of this season? That is a big question but I might also add another questions, What happened to Daniel’s pace since joining Renault and now McLaren?
The only thing I can think of is that the new cars just Arne’t his cup of tea but former F1 driver and Australian legend Alan Jones suggests it could come down to the one thing we love most about Daniel…his personality.
“Unless he makes a few improvements, quick smart, I really can’t see him being there for too much longer to be honest. A contract in Formula One doesn’t mean much… but if the situation remains the same as it is I have no doubt in my mind they will exercise one of those options that are in the contract.
“He is a great little race driver and he is a hell of a nice guy but, of course, we all know nice guys don’t get anywhere, particularly in Formula One. The biggest d*ck you are, the better off you are. There are a few out there at the moment that have proved that.”
It’s a shame because I think Daniel is much better than the form we’re seeing but like Alan, I wonder if he still loves F1 or has a passion for it. Whatever it is, it’s not an easy fix or Dan would have corrected the issue.
Dan’s personality is infectious but as we’ve said many times on the podcast, champions often times are selfish and have a singular focus that can rub folks the wrong way but it is what it takes to win in F1. All the champions have that self-focused approach. Is Dan simply too nice of a guy?
In the end, we could be seeing the back of Dan but I doubt he is the only one. The conventional rumors are that Pierre Gasly could be of interest at McLaren and with Sergio’s new two-year deal at Red Bull, that seems like an option although Zak is also keen on some of his drivers in American Indycar series in the form of Pato O’Ward.
There is also the possibility we could see the end of Nicholas Latifi’s F1 career as well as Mick Schumacher and Zho Guanyu. The Sauber/Alfa Romeo seat is linked to Theo Pourchaire. As for the Williams seat, it may be true that Latifi brings serious capital investment for the team but recently Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries have been names associated with the seat.