If you’re newer to Formula 1, you might be wondering what is going on with McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo. On the surface it would seem like they are moving forward with the contract Dan has for next season. That would make sense but one thing to know about F1 is that when a driver or a team start talking publicly about the next move and start mentioning that they have a signed contract, that’s usually a sign that they are most likely parting company.
This week, with speculation running high due to the signing of Indycar’s Alex Palou who joins Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward as McLaren drivers, Ricciardo released a statement:
“There have been a lot of rumours around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me,” said Ricciardo.
“I am committed to McLaren until the end of next year and am not walking away from the sport. Appreciate it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants it easy!
“I’m working my a** off with the team to make improvements and get the car right and back to the front where it belongs. I still want this more than ever.”
This generally isn’t the public statement that builds confidence that Dan will see the seat of a McLaren in 2023. Dan is currently 47 points behind his teammate Lando Norris and it’s been head-scratching as to why he is struggling so much given that he is a 8-time race winner.
If the question of Dan’s future isn’t odd enough, the signing of Palou was equally odd as Chip Ganassi racing released an announcement that they had exercised a team option to retain Palou but later int eh day, he announced he was joining McLaern and made this statement:
“I have recently learned from the media that this afternoon, without my approval, Chip Ganassi Racing issued a press release announcing that I would be driving with CGR in 2023,” Palou said via Twitter.
“Even more surprising was that CGR’s release included a ‘quote’ which did not come from me. I did not author or approve that quote. As I have recently informed CGR, for personal reasons, I do not intend to continue with the team after 2022.”
Strange days and I would imagine some heartburn between McLaren and CGR. Who knows, Maybe Chip might be interested in dan.