Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren will end a year early, as the team and the Australian “mutually agreed” to terminate his contract, meaning that he will leave at the end of the 2022 season.
Ricciardo joined McLaren ahead of the 2021 season, on a three year long contract until 2023, but he has rarely impressed during his time with the Woking outfit.
While the Aussie may have won the 2021 Monza Grand Prix, McLaren’s first win since 2012, his other performances were usually lacking behind that of his younger and faster teammate, Lando Norris.
Just as the F1 summer break comes to an end, McLaren and Ricciardo announced that they would complete the final nine years of the year together before parting ways.
“It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons but following several months of discussions with Zak (Brown, McLaren CEO) & Andreas (Seidl, Team Principal) we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season,” Ricciardo said.
“I’ll be announcing my own future plans in due course but regardless of what this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza, last season,” said the Aussie, before confirming his intention to stay in the sport; “I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren both trackside and back in Woking and will be giving my all on and off track as we enjoy the remainder of the season together. I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be a part of a sport that I love so much and look forward to what comes next.”
Meanwhile, Brown said “Daniel has been a great addition to McLaren, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. I’d like to thank him for all of his efforts over the last two seasons both trackside and back at base. It’s no secret that we hoped we could achieve more together but seeing him stand on the top step of the podium as a McLaren driver was a highlight. We wish him well for the future and let’s go enjoy the rest of the season together.”
It is also no secret that McLaren desperately want Oscar Piastri to join Norris in their driver lineup, which has left Ricciardo in the cold, but at least a solution has been found for him at this stage. Having eight race wins under his belt, Ricciardo remains a desirable driver on the grid, and a return to the French outfit that is now called Alpine is looking to be increasingly more likely.
After 13 races so far this year, Ricciardo currently occupies 12th place in the driver’s standings, a far cry from what he is known to be capable of.
Featured image: Daniel Ricciardo – REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo