Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Silverstone, 2022

Ricciardo rejects speculation over early departure from F1

2022 F1 Season

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Daniel Ricciardo has insisted he will see out his McLaren contract, which runs until the end of the 2023 season, in Formula 1.

He has struggled to match team mate Lando Norris‘ form since joining McLaren last year, prompting speculation over whether he will see out his three-year deal.

McLaren’s roster of driving talent continues to expand. Reigning IndyCar championship Alex Palou has signed to the racing team while his rival Colton Herta tested for the team.

Today Ricciardo made it clear he won’t move to McLaren’s other teams such as its IndyCar outfit or new Formula E entry. In social media post this morning Ricciardo that he will see out his McLaren contract to its end, in Formula 1.

“There have been a lot of rumours around my future in Formula 1 but I want you to hear it from me,” wrote Ricciardo. “I am committed to McLaren until the end of next year and I am not walking away from the sport.”

Ricciardo is currently 12th in the drivers’ championship and has scored points three times this season, on a score of 17 to Norris’ 64.

“[I] appreciate it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants easy,” he added. “I’m working my ass 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.

“See you in Le Castellet.”

He signed to McLaren during 2020, one season into a two-year deal with Renault. He struggled to adapt to McLaren’s 2021 car but took their only race win since 2012 at the Italian Grand Prix, leading Norris home in a one-two finish.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 30 comments on “Ricciardo rejects speculation over early departure from F1”

    1. First, Zak said he’ll definitely see out his 3-year deal & now the relevant individual himself has said he won’t leave Mclaren nor F1 as a series, so I think everyone should finally stop speculation over his future.
      However, things & tone can always change, but still.

      1. @jerejj
        F1 contracts are binding until they aren’t (like Kimi’s Ferrari contract wasn’t in 2009). F1 team may have to pay salary to a driver, who isn’t driving for them anymore, but that’s it.

        This is just Ricciardo saying that he won’t go voluntarily and McLaren will have to pay him even if they don’t want him to drive anymore. They might reach some sort of a deal though, where Ricciardo doesn’t have any obligations anymore, but he’ll receive a smaller payment.

        1. Another alternative as used in many other sports, Major League Baseball for eg. is to pass off the athlete to another team with partial salary support.
          That way McLaren could bring in someone new and reduce the cost of putting DR on “sabatacal”. Another team gains the benefit of getting DR on the cheap.
          There will be some brinkmanship in the future I think.

      2. If he does drive for McLaren in 2023, then this is terrific news for fans of Daniel Ricciardo, fans of Alpine and fans of Alfa Romeo as well.

      3. The media hammers things like this so much they often cause the change themselves by making the team and/or driver so sick of the same questions asked endlessly that they make a change just to shut them up.

    2. Do we know if his contract is with the McLaren F1 team specifically or McLaren Racing? With Palou announced to McLaren Racing, not the Indycar team, and Ricciardo saying he’s “committed to McLaren”, I still don’t feel 100% sure about this… Hope he stays with the F1 team and has a resurgence in the next year and a half, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see him leave the series.

      1. @hunocsi Of course, the F1 team specifically, or at least should be.
        Otherwise, such an aspect would’ve got mentioned when he signed over two years ago.
        Furthermore, he specifically said he won’t leave F1, so very clear-cut what he means.

        1. He said he won’t leave the sport. Not literally that he won’t leave F1. IndyCar is also an autosport.

          1. @silfen
            Many people use & have used the word ‘sport’ when referring to F1, so he most certainly means F1.
            Geez, how people seem obsessed to make up their own interpretations that differ from standard.

          2. I don’t think he’s good enough for IndyCar.

            1. He was always faster than Grosjean so he’d do very well in with Indy cars. But he should still be able to turn it around in F1. 2 or 3 good results would make all the difference.

    3. When someone starts using words like for sure or definitely in relation to F1 contracts that usually means that change is on the horizon. Plenty of examples of that in the recent and not so recent past.

      1. I agree. Having to discuss it says it all. Am a fan of Daniel, but it is good to make way for new talent.

    4. I think it’s pretty simple what he’s saying. Zak was talking about there being a break clause in the contract but Ricciardo has to agree for it to be activated.

      This is him saying “no chance – if you want to replace me, you pay me to leave.”

      1. Agreed.

    5. What else is he going to say?

    6. There was a rumour, in a not very reputable source this morning, that one driver being considered as a replacement for Daniel is Sebastian (Vettel). Seems quite unlikely but let’s face it, Aston Martin is not looking too good at the moment. This would seem to be a good move for Seb if it came off.

      Personally I hope Daniel can turns things around and start to get some better results at McLaren. He’s a good driver to have around.

      1. I also read it on the BBC site. Benson mentioned Albon as well. And with Piastri, O’Ward, Herta and Palou also in the mix there is no shortage of talent waiting to take his place.

        1. @silfen I also read that BBC report, although the last three are definitely off the table.

      2. I feel like Seb is about 3 years past his best before date, I keep expecting him to retire every winter but he doesn’t. He doesn’t seem that motivated about remaining in F1 (and hasn’t done for a few years at least to me). Lando is experienced enough at this point, they should take the opportunity to bring someone new into the sport alongside him.

        1. Agree. I’m a bit surprised by the lack of discussion about Seb’s future.

          Next year is the 10th anniversary of his last Championship win. I can’t see him at Merc, and RB and Ferrari days are behind him. If he stays in F1, it will only be for the occasional points finishes.

    7. I love Dany Ric. But I can’t help but think if there is a break clause, McLaren will activate it. Zak seems to be a money man more than anything and that is why Zak was brought in. Daniel has marketing appeal and can be re-purposed elsewhere, his salary obviously isn’t linked to the F1 salary cap, but it is to the McLaren group as a whole.

      A few handshakes, I can see him moving. Colton, O’Ward, Piastri? in the wings. All of which would be much cheaper, and they can’t really be that much worse? Daniel has really struggled for a while now.

      But I do think F1 will lose something as a whole, he is a great character, and great for the sport. *I only recently learnt about his chanting “Pierre Gas–leeeeee”.

      But I wouldn’t be surprised if McLaren go somewhere else. You can’t pay someone tens of millions of dollars when they’re not competing. Not as you’d hope they would anyway.

      1. @bernasaurus Regarding a break clause, the word is that only Daniel himself can activate it rather than the team, although whether this is actually true or not is another matter.
        The former two are non-options as they’re both ineligible for a super license, albeit Pato has a greater chance of becoming eligible in time for next season-opener.

    8. What else would Ricciardos team say at this point. The separation negotiations much start from somewhere

      That’s some job security,tho, if I’d cost my employer proportionately as much by under-performing constantly, I’d been out on my ass a long time ago.

    9. I feel like Danny Ric should call it a day at the end of this season. There’s been occasional ‘false dawns’ with him where you think he’s turned a corner, but then clearly hasn’t. He’s only dragging the team down by staying on and not performing. It is a shame, because it seemed 5 or so years ago, that he was a shoe in to be a WDC contender one day but has just been on a steady decline since he left Red Bull and has thrown away any chances of racing for a top team again due to his performances.

      1. Not easy to walk away from a pile of money like that, unless you have no choice.

    10. Chris Horton
      14th July 2022, 1:06

      Great news, I really hope he can get it together.

      Supreme talent and a top guy. Come on Danny.

    11. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about F1 it’s that words about being committed don’t really mean much. We’ll just have to wait and see if he’s in the car next year.

    12. Honestly, it feels like the media often tries or ends up precipitating these changes by asking these questions relentlessly of the drivers and the teams until they can’t take it anymore.

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