Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2022

McLaren confirm early exit for Ricciardo at end of season

2023 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo will depart McLaren at the end of the season, one year before his contract was due to expire, the team has confirmed.

The 33-year-old joined the team at the beginning of last season on a three-year deal. He won the Italian Grand Prix, ending the team’s nine-year victory drought, but endured an otherwise difficult campaign.

His second year at the team has been of little improvement. By the summer break Ricciardo had scored less than one-quarter of team mate Lando Norris’s points haul.

“McLaren Racing and Daniel Ricciardo can confirm that Daniel’s 2023 contract has been terminated early as both parties have mutually agreed that he will leave the team at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season,” said the team in a statement.

Team principal Andreas Seidl praised Ricciardo’s efforts during his year-and-a-half with them so far. “I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication and contribution over the last two seasons so far,” he said.

“Despite the shared challenges, he has always turned up with a fighting spirit and positivity and helped the entire team to always keep pushing forward. We will never forget that memorable race win in Monza which was a great boost for the whole team.

“We still have an important battle in the constructors’ championship ahead of us for the remainder of the season and we look forward to battle this out with Daniel and Lando.”

Questions over Ricciardo’s future at the team were prompted earlier this year by comments made by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. He and Seidl have discussed Ricciardo’s situation with the driver at length ahead of the decision and today’s announcement.

“It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons,” said Ricciardo. “But following several months of discussions with Zak and Andreas we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season.

“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.

“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.”

In Ricciardo’s own statement on social media, he said he was “not sure” what lies ahead for him but reassured “I still love” F1.

“This hasn’t affected any of that,” he said. “I still have that fire in me, that belief in my belly that I can do this at the highest level. All that stuff’s still there.”

McLaren have also said they will announce a new team mate for Norris next year “in due course”. Oscar Piastri has been tipped to take over Ricciardo’s seat.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on “McLaren confirm early exit for Ricciardo at end of season”

    1. Right, he’s off to Alpine isn’t he, if he’s to stay in F1. At a cut down price I would imagine…

      1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend Or Haas, but more likely, Alpine.

      2. I got the impression he was more comfortable at renault so makes sense to go back. They’ll take him in a snap if they’ve got amy sense.

  1. Didn’t see that coming

      1. Agreed, this was the only possible outcome.

        Daniel has a lot of credit in his bank from his past performances, but you can only live off that for so long. Monza proved the saying “one swallow doesn’t make a summer”…sadly he’s not been good enough and it is putting 4th place in the championship at risk as the Alpine drivers are both consistently scoring points.

      2. Yeah, for me the writing was on the wall at the beginning of the season. IJS

  2. At least he’ll be sitting pretty comfortable with the money he raked in from his Renault deal and this one being bought out by McLaren.

    Maybe not a champion, but who cares if you have tens of millions in the bank…

    1. Yes, was thinking that “daniel, you were fired by mclaren cause of underperformance, can you find any positivity in the situation?” “The money!”.

    2. I’m sure he enjoys the money but you don’t get to that level without caring about performance. He has underperformed at McLaren but certainly not from lack of trying.

  3. From the man himself on twitter (video).

    Feels a bit down – I guess disappointed how things went? Probably not sorted the rest of his career yet.

    1. Yeah, his time with McLaren feels like the most ‘all parties disappointed with how things went’ we have seen in a while doesn’t it @bascb

      I guess it’s good to have clarity, I’d guess for now Ricciardo gets a good payout and has the rest of the season to see where he finds a future. If in F1 Alpine still seems like it would be solid if possible, but otherwise probably best to look outside.

  4. Surprised, but not surprised. Daniel’s statement seems a little uncertain. Maybe he does not have anything agreed yet for 2023. His time at McLaren has been a disappointment for him and many of us.

  5. did Mark Webber pull of a hist of sorts ? Blindsiding Alpine while finding a seat for his client at McLaren ?

    1. Ricciardo, Webber, Alonso, Briatore and Stroll senior were all involved in getting Szafnauer embarrassed to say the least. This wasn’t business, it was strictly personal.

      1. Riccardo? How? He chose to be relives if his seat to embarrass a team principal?

  6. Sadly inevitable, but it is good that Piastri will get a seat worthy of his considerable talent (assuming that is what happens).

    Unfortunately his lacklustre time at McLaren will have damaged Ricciardo’s stock in F1 and it’s hard to see him coming away with anything like a competitive drive next season. Perhaps Alpine will go for him in desperation, but he may well end up somewhere like Williams or Haas for the sake of remaining on the grid – otherwise, the exit door beckons.

    1. I wouldn’t exclude that he could go to alpine and perform, look at vettel, after a disaster end stint at ferrari he did better, relative to the car he had ofc, at aston.

  7. Inevitable.

    Such a shame as I was always a fan and was excited at the prospect of him racing at McLaren.

  8. Despite the shared challenges, he has always turned up with a fighting spirit and positivity and helped the entire team to always keep pushing forward

    In the end all that was still meaningless.

  9. It didn’t work. If it didn’t work with this car it would not work with next year’s as well

    They did the right thing. And he bagged a ton of money. Might very well retire too, if you can’t win, at least make sure to get very rich, and that’s what he did.

    1. Well, if money is the sole target, might as well drive for a backmarker team before retiring, like raikkonen did.

  10. Far have we come from that time when he won in Monaco

  11. Not sure he really settled at Mclaren…..and the more they developed the car, it never really worked how he wanted it…even Lando said it was getting more difficult to drive….Alpine sounds a better bet ….All am sure will be revealed soon….

  12. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    24th August 2022, 15:49

    I think he’s a good driver and I don’t think he’s lost it but he just never seemed to really get along with the McLaren at all. Also arguably he’s cost the team points and potentially positions in the final standings by being consistently slower than Norris. I hope he stays around – losing him from F1 would be bad but it’s strange to see him fall so far from being talked about as a future world champion in waiting to now being pushed out of a team for his underwhelming performances.

    1. I don’t think being slower than norris is the problem, like being slower than verstappen isn’t the problem, the fact is he’s been too far off the pace, sometimes reminding of gasly and albon at red bull.

  13. Nice career. 8 wins including Monaco, Monza and Spa. Not too shabby.

    1. A bit like Webber who’s at 9 wins and no title.

      Maybe Webber didn’t want him to beat his win tally ;)

      1. How many of Ric’s wins occurred in the quickest car that weekend? Perhaps only Monoco. In contrast, how many of Webber’s wins occurred when he was not in the quickest car? I think some but not most.

        1. Good point, and all of these wins came with red bull, and had he stayed there (no hindsight here, I complained about him leaving red bull immediately) he’d have got a few more and red bull would’ve had 2 competitive drivers instead of dealing with underperforming gasly and albon the years after 2018 till they found perez (underperforming at red bull ofc).

  14. If this means Norris is matched with Piastri, that could be quite the match up. Then again, many thought the same when Ricciardo joined McLaren and that turned into a bit of a one-man show. And while we’ll probably never really know what’s wrong, it’s clear that Ricciardo is just not getting on top of his problems with the McLaren and there’s no reason to suspect that’ll change. McLaren probably concluded the same a while ago.

    In the recent F1 Beyond the Grid podcast with Norris, he too mentioned it was tough to get the McLaren to work but that the team isn’t really looking to change the car based on that driver feedback but is only focused on making it faster. Given that their handling issues seems consistent between the ’21 and ’22 spec cars, perhaps this handling is just a by product of how McLaren finds their pace. It’s up to the drivers to make the most of that, and it’s pretty obvious who has done the better job.

    1. Assuming that’s true, the question is if McLaren can make a championship winning car disregarding their drivers inputs. No autonomous driving in F1 yet, so maybe they should help the drivers, not tell them to adapt.

      1. I’m sure they listen to the feedback, and Norris said as much. But he wasn’t really convinced this led to any ‘adapting to driver X or Y’. Ultimately the engineers are looking at it from the numbers that come out of the wind tunnel and simulations, and it’s up to the drivers to adapt.

        The problem you highlight is indeed the big one: you do need to have drivers that can. There have been some very difficult but fast cars (the last-gen Red Bulls, the mid 90s Benettons and no doubt a bunch of others in between). Unfortunately, for teams and fans alike, until all drivers sample all cars, it’s really hard to know how fast the car can actually go.

        1. @MichaelN
          I’m sure the fine engineers from McLaren know this, but they can’t make a car with a too peaky performance window. Regardless of the fact that the drivers need to be able to extract it, there are too many randoms at the track. Track surface changes and temperature, weather changes, random optimal temperature windows from the weird tires, cool-down from a SC, etc.. Any of those could throw the car out of it’s peaky performance window. They’ll end up with a car that’s only competitive some of the time.

          And even regardless of that, plenty of times teams have brought updates that didn’t work. There is still a possible mismatch between the think tank and the real world

          A slightly more rounded car with a theoretical lower ultimate performance might yield more points

  15. Sad to see that the combination of my favorite driver and my favorite team resulted in this disappointing way, but the writing has been on the wall for a while now. I wonder if the team will have to pay his full 2023 salary, or if they agreed on a somewhat lesser amount.

    I also wonder, what will they think if he starts to outperform Lando until the end of the season? It’s obviously unlikely now, but who knows, things might just click.

    And a third wondering, what if Piastri loses his legal battle with Alpine? Will they also buy him out of his contract, or look at some other options, probably the McLaren-signed drivers in Indycar?

    1. @hunocsi From IndyCar, only Palou could be an alternative option to Piastri as he’s the only SL-eligible driver from the referred group.
      I could even see Mick ending up at Mclaren in some scenarios depending on driver market developments.

      1. @jerejj O’Ward can also get there, although he needs to go from 7th to 4th in the championship in the last two races. (for some reason I thought he was closer to it)

        1. O’Ward had really bad luck this season.

  16. So what happens now if Renault drag this whole Piastri thing out through the courts, right up until pre-season testing, even just out of spite to McLaren (and Webber/Alonso/Oscar)…? Will Daniel be left on the sidelines, not wanting to commit to the likes of HAAS or Williams while he waits for the dust to settle??

    Sounds like the McLaren split was the easy part, but figuring out where he goes next is the real struggle.

    1. @joeypropane Interesting assessment & very much possible. Time will tell.

  17. Ricciardo has so many options that he may consider himself lucky at this time. Maybe not as good as a 2023 McLaren seat, but he can go to Audi-Alfa-Sauber, to Alpine (most logical), Haas (he’d be big in America!) and even Williams has a (sort of) open seat.

    But I believe he would have to say goodbye to the two-digit salary to have a chance to clean up his act in the years to come.

    He still has it. That double passing in the last race was the old Ricciardo trying to surface.

    I guess what put him down is that Norris did to him what Verstappen couldn’t. Is that a sign?

    1. @Only Facts! I view only Alpine & Haas as viable options for him.
      Zhou will stay put in all likelihood & otherwise would only get replaced by Pouchaire.
      Concerning Williams, I view Sargeant & De Vries as the only alternatives to Latifi.

      1. Why not the Williams seat? De Vries doesn’t pack a lot of cash and have been without a for F1 competitive seat for ages, and is known to be problematic. Sargent isn’t packed with talent. Right now he is hot, but thats one season out of many. So why not bring in a driver with a big name and a known entity in comparison to Albon. They should want him for the same reasons as Haas would want him.
        On the sidenote, if Zhou is moved in favour of Pourchaire, then he becomes another candidate for the Williams seat. Brings money, brings hope of more sponsors and is somewhat serviceable.

        1. @JA Good points with which I agree.
          Ultimately, Williams could also be an option for him to an extent, at least.

    2. True, that double passing was nice, saw it and was expecting to see some comments but it flew under the radar I guess, I think it was on the battling aston martin.

  18. A pretty inevitable outcome in the end, so unsurprising.
    I reckon a Team Enstone return for him, as has been speculated, but Haas is also possible.

  19. Huh? But he was assuring his commitment to the end of his contract at McLaren only a month ago https://twitter.com/danielricciardo/status/1547159313151655939 What happened since then I wonder, hmmmm??? Money Badger will forever remain Money Badger, so right now he’s looking for yet another chance to rip somebody off.

    1. Wow, have you read that wrong. Guess you just have a vendetta?

      Clearly McLaren wanted this so the terms of the contract are what they are. It’s a mutual agreement by all and McLaren have to abide by the terms of the contract.

  20. This could go 2 ways, 1) it wakes Ricciardo from his slumber and gives him back some fire to prove McLaren made the wrong decision, and outperforms Norris for the remainder of the season.

    2)McLaren push out the door early and put the new talent in early, so the team gets a jump start on next year by ironing out the kinks early.

    Other than contracts, there is no reason to keep Daniel in the car this year, he is dead weight and F1 has way too many ‘legacy’ drivers taking up space. If F1 swept house more often, we would see more genuine talent rise to the occassion. Nowadays everyone is given several years of underwhelming circling the drain, instead of quickly discarding the under-performers they hang on to them for an eternity and potential talent is lost.

    I’d love to have that excitement of the rookie challenging the world champ that we had when Hamilton got his drive, that was exciting. These days we get small incremental marketing blurbs about average drivers and why next year is a building year, next year we expect the driver to gain more experience, mature and develop – that’s garbage, a great driver doesn’t need 8 years to be ready to challenge, they need a team that is less risk averse and willing to throw new blood into competitive machinery and tell them to drive the hell out of it, not lift and coast and be super cautious.

    1. Agreed on their being too many ‘proven not great’ drivers in F1. The top talent will adapt pretty much instantly, as the likes of Norris, Leclerc and Verstappen have shown (Hamilton and Vettel were the last of the testing generation, but they too were obviously very quick to adapt to F1). They won’t instantly be at their best, of course, but they don’t need two or three seasons to get up to speed.

      Pretty much half the grid is never going to be hired by a top team. They know it, and their teams know it as well. They’re sticking around as long as they can and doing what they like best. Can’t blame them for that. It’s the teams I wonder about; these midfield teams seem to dramatically overvalue experience.

      1. There’s still alonso too that comes from the testing generation, obviously he came before vettel and hamilton but strange to not see him mentioned among the oldest ones left.

  21. If McLaren are planning on employing Piastri then they really should announce it soon and try and expedite the inevitable court case. This would mean that if the court rules in Alpine’s favour they have as much time as possible to sort out a replacement. If Piastri is holding out then tell him he has 48h to sign otherwise you look elsewhere.

    Alpine can’t take Piastri to court until he actually signs a contract with McLaren or refuses to get in the car next year. Merely him saying he won’t drive for Alpine next year isn’t something Alpine can take him to court for.

    1. @chimaera2003 I doubt it is in Renault groups interests to waste time in court because they know they would lose.
      Oscar’s lawyers would just argue that the contract is null and void because he was guaranteed an F1 seat if he won F2 title before robbing him of a drive when they gave 90 year old Alonso a pointless contract extension. maybe alpine thought he wouldn’t win in the first F2 season and expected him to race in the series for 2022?

      He could also argue under European labour law he was denied Free movement of work as a pro racer as he was ‘banned’ from facing in F2 because champions are excluded from racing in the series again and denied an F1 seat by his employer enstone F1>alpine>Renault Group.

      I honestly think if he was able to race for another season in F2 to keep race sharp and be a 2xf2 wdc he would be happy to wait until 2023 to race in F1 but alpine treating him like dirt disrespecting him as a cheap commodity which pushed him to sign with another team that respects him as a human(also probably pays more lol).

      How would you feel if you dominated F3 and F2 but denied a race seat whilst you see state backed zhou who you drove circles around get a race seat before you thanks to the bags of ccp pay driver cash he brings?!

      1. @ccpbioweapon You have gone off on a tangent here, I was commenting on McLaren’s point of view rather than Piastri’s. How Piastri may feel regarding his treatment at Alpine is completely irrelevant to McLaren’s thinking. All McLaren will care about is what Piastri’s contract with Alpine says and that may only be tested in court.

        In fact if McLaren believed that Piastri was as angry with Alpine as you imply then they could use it as leverage to compel him to sign right now (if he hasn’t already) as they know he won’t go back and will have no other options as good as them.

  22. Shame. At least it appears everything was amicable between McLaren and Daniel – just disappointment that it didn’t work out as they wanted it to. It is good to see the statements from Andreas and Zak that they do hope to see Daniel racing next year and competing against them. Probably the best thing for everyone.

    I do hope to see Daniel in a car for 2023 in F1 that he can be competitive in and challenge McLaren – whether it be Alpine or Haas.

    He could also just decide to leave F1 and go elsewhere, of course. NASCAR, Indy, etc would welcome him with open arms for sure.

  23. I have a lot of affection for Daniel. But I just can’t see what he offers Alpine really. Alpine are already licking their wounds from Oscar / Fernando / Seb fiasco. To take a driver that has essentially been sacked and payed off from a team behind Alpine in the standings isn’t exactly great promo or motivation. The fact he ‘fobbed off’ Alpine itself 18 months ago for greener pastures doesn’t look good.

    I’d love for Daniel to stay in F1. But if I was Otmar – I’d be looking elsewhere. Signing a 33yr old that your rivals don’t want – who didn’t want you not so long ago. It doesn’t really fit with the ‘we’ll be winners in 8 years plan’. *I can’t remember how many years Cyril said it would take.

    I think they’d be better looking for the next young superstar – someone like Oscar Piastri ;-)

    1. But I get the feeling piastri doesn’t want to come to alpine, and in that case he will go to mclaren, and furthermore there’s no saying a driver who’s been terrible at a team can’t perform well again at another, see vettel 2020 vs 2021 for example, or albon and gasly after their red bull disaster, they’re back to being decent midfielders like they were before red bull.

  24. Feel like Ricciardo’s very magnanimous statements mean he probably got what he wanted out of the termination. However, due it sounding downbeat, I’d guess it was the 17-21m he owed rather than getting setup with a drive at Alpine + severance.

    1. the 17-21 he was owed.*

    2. Just not fair imo that an underperforming driver can’t be replaced without giving him lots of money, I know it was in the contract but don’t find it fair.

  25. With Audi at Sauber, I’d imagine that might be a good place to go plead his case.

    DR got out driven by a less expensive and less experienced team mate, it’s all there is to it.

    1. Norris is a top driver, he could go head to head with verstappen and leclerc, there’s no shame being beaten by him even if he’s less experienced, the problem is being destroyed by your team mate (whether it’s norris or anyone else) like ricciardo did.

      1. I’m no expert but didn’t Sainz beat Norris both years at McLaren?

  26. I went on a hiatus from watching/following F1 from the end of the 2013 season until the start of the 2019 season so I only ever saw him race in terrible (HRT) and midfield (Toro Rosso/Renault/McLaren) teams. So I guess I missed his best years, but I never really thought he was a top tier driver, he just seemed like a solid midfield guy, like a Perez, for the most part. I was surprised when McLaren went for him since it seemed like they were a team on the up, but he was a driver on the way down.

    He seems like a nice guy who loves the sport, but maybe it is best he calls time on F1. Maybe look at Indycar and he can possibly rebuild his reputation there and who knows, if he does amazingly well then he’s probably still young enough for a team to bring him back into F1 in a few years time for one last shot.

    1. I have an opinion
      24th August 2022, 20:57

      You should watch the 2014 season.

    2. I’d add all his red bull time to that, he matched a young verstappen!

  27. Piastri is climbing into Team Lando. Good luck to him, he’ll need it.

    1. Yes, indeed, unless he’s also a top driver and pulls a hamilton 2007 or leclerc 2019, it’s gonna be tough.

  28. I really worry that Piastri won’t be able to get the car to work either. Hopefully it’s not the case and he dispatches Lando. It could be like a Verstappen/Gasly/Albon situation and the car just specifically suits Lando’s driving style.

    That McLaren had no interest getting the car to work for Ricciardo and just wanted Ricciardo to adjust his driving style to suit the car says everything. I’ve never heard so much coaching coming from the pit wall with telling the driver how to adjust their inputs.

    Perhaps it’s just the technical base lacking from Ricciardo being unable to adequately describe what he needs from the car. He might have been saying “I don’t know” simply too often.

  29. He was never as good as Mark Webber. Goodbye Ric-I-ardo and welcome Oscar Piastri.

    1. You are not wrong

    2. Well, ricciardo beat vettel, webber didn’t!

      1. @esploratore1 to be fair though, in 2014, Vettel didn’t have an exhaust blown diffuser, and was just not used to having much less performance than he was used to.
        Much like Hamilton vs Russell this year, Ricciardo was stepping into a car which was _much_ better than he had ever had before, as Russell did, whereas his multi-consecutive-WDC-winning team mate was suddenly dealing with a much worse car.
        The difference is that Hamilton is now getting on top of his issues with the W13, which Vettel didn’t, but he did go and have several relatively good seasons at Ferrari.

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