Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren will part ways at the end of the Formula One season after negotiating a buyout with the Australian in the final year of his contract.
Ricciardo already has the option in 2023 for his seat at McLaren, but his record has been poor across 35 races. Although he scored McLaren’s first Formula 1 win since 2012 with last September’s win at Monza, Ricciardo was outperformed by teammate Lando Norris in nearly every race weekend.
Ricciardo, 33, has only one podium with McLaren and has only 19 points this season. Norris has a podium this season and 76 points.
“This will be my last year with McLaren. Obviously we put in a lot of effort on both sides, but it didn’t work the way we wanted, so the team decided to make a change for next year.” Ricciardo said in a video message posted on his social media platforms Wednesday.
“I think for the future, what lies ahead, I am not sure yet. I am not sure. But we will see. I look back on this time with McLaren, I look back with a smile. I’ve learned a lot about myself that I think will help me take the next step in my career, but I just think in general in life. “
– Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo)
August 24, 2022
McLaren head Zak Brown in May admitted that Ricciardo’s seat was shaken and said there was a “mechanism” by which driver and team could split before the 2023 season. The mechanism turned out to be a buyout. because Ricciardo has kept the option next season.
Although early reports suggested that Ricciardo was looking for more than $20 million to leave the team early, McLaren reportedly paid $15 million to end his contract.
McLaren is said to have signed F2 champion Oscar Piastri, also Australian, for Riccioardo’s seat. No announcement was made by McLaren, but Piastri declined to advertise for F1 with Alpine.
“This sport, I still love it. I still like it. I still have that fire in me, the belief in my stomach that I can do this at the highest level.
Brown said: “Daniel is a great addition to McLaren, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. is a highlight. “
After Monza’s win, Brown and Ricciardo visited a tattoo parlor in Texas so Brown could celebrate the victory with a permanent Monza circuit ink on his arm. He also rewarded Ricciardo by allowing him to drive Dale Earnhardt’s iconic #3 car. Chevrolet Vintage cars during a rally at the Circuit of the Americas. Brown owned the car, and Ricciardo idolized Earnhardt as a child.
Ricciardo said it’s been hard not to get the results he wanted since joining McLaren ahead of the 2021 season. His Monza victory was Ricciardo’s only podium since.
“From a results point of view, to always get the results and form that I’ve been chasing, it’s not always there and it makes some weekends difficult. I totally feel those things,” said Ricciardo, who added that he hasn’t finished racing yet.
“This sport, I still love it. I still like it. I still keep that fire in me, the belief in my stomach that I can do this at the highest level. All that stuff is still there,” he said. This isn’t it for me, but yeah, we’ll see what lies ahead. “
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl thanked Ricciardo for his “dedication and contribution” since joining the team.
“Despite the common challenges, he always showed up with fighting spirit and positivity and kept the team moving forward,” Seidl said. “We will never forget winning the memorable race in Monza, it was a great motivation for the whole team. We still have an important battle in the constructors’ championship ahead of us. me for the rest of the season and we look forward to this battle with Daniel and Lando.”
Norris and Ricciardo helped McLaren to 4th place in last season’s Makers’ Championship.
Ricciardo, one of F1’s most famous drivers, is in his 12th season and has eight career victories.