Daniel Ricciardo on the podium celebrating a win
The Australian had a deal in place with McLaren until the end of 2023 and had as recently as last month insisted that he would remain committed to the team for the remainder of his contract.
But the hierarchy at McLaren announced this week that Ricciardo would not be completing his contract. The Australian will most likely be replaced by 21-year-old Oscar Piastri. The Formula Two champion has reportedly already agreed to a contract with McLaren.
Replacement Decided Soon
McLaren has responded to rumours regarding Piastri by saying that an official announcement regarding next season will be made soon.
Announcing his departure ahead of the weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Ricciardo said that it had been a privilege to be part of the McLaren family, but that the parties had decided to separate by mutual agreement.
The Australian added that he would be announcing his own plans for the future in due course, and that he has no regrets regarding his time with the team. He said he remains positive about whatever comes next while remaining part of a sport he loves.
According to McLaren boss Zak Brown, he was surprised when Ricciardo failed to deliver positive results. He said the Australian simply hasn’t met his expectations since his arrival last year.
Even though Ricciardo effectively ended McLaren’s nine-year title drought with a win at last season’s Italian Grand Prix, he has been constantly outperformed by British driver Lando Norris. During the 2022 season, the Brit has scored a massive 57 points more than his former teammate.
An Amicable Parting
But Brown also commended Ricciardo for the role he played with McLaren. He this week thanked the Aussie for his commitment and efforts, both at the base as well as the side of the track. He said his only wish is that the parties could have achieved more together, which had been the expectation right from the start.
Right now, it isn’t clear what the future holds for Ricciardo. There is a possibility for him to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine, the team he departed from when he first joined McLaren.
Brown also said that the team would not be revealing any further contractual details regarding Ricciardo, save to say that he and the team had come to an amicable decision to part ways. He said the team remains hopeful that Ricciardo will return to the grid next year.