Ricciardo told Piastri and Webber there’s “no hard feelings” over his McLaren exit

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo revealed he has spoken to the driver who will take his place at McLaren next year after the team’s decision to end his contract a year early.

As well as clearing the air with Oscar Piastri, Ricciardo also spoke to his manager Mark Webber, who engineered the rookie’s arrival at the team.

Piastri signed a contract with McLaren on July 4th. The team subsequently agreed terms to cut Ricciardo’s deal short, which was announced in late August.

Ricciardo said he felt Webber wanted to apologise for the circumstances in which he’d lost his seat. “We hadn’t seen each other in person, so he wanted to basically just – I feel he didn’t need to, but he felt like he wanted to, in a way – apologise and try to just see how I’m doing,” Ricciardo revealed following last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

“Obviously I know how this sport is, it’s nothing personal to me and he wanted to make sure that I knew that and understood that, and just to make sure that I felt okay. He feels really bad, obviously, how it’s gone down and how things are put out there in the media.

Webber‘s F1 career ran from 2002 to 2013. Following his retirement, while driving for Red Bull, Ricciardo took his place at the team.

“It was nice to speak to him,” Ricciardo continued. “I’ve also spoken to Oscar, and just made sure that there’s no bad feelings there. I understand how this works and he’s trying to make it, he’s trying to get into Formula 1 and this moment should be also really big for him. I don’t want to make it a bad situation for him, and that’s that, it’s nothing personal.

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“So that’s all the conversation was and I truly do wish him well, I want him to have a good run in F1, so it’s just the circumstances and that’s how it is but I still obviously like Mark a lot and respect him.”

Ricciardo became a grand prix winner with Red Bull but left the team for Renault in 2019. Last year he switched to McLaren on a three-year contract, winning in his first year but otherwise being out-performed by team mate Lando Norris.

That prompted McLaren to find a way of ending his contract early. Piastri joined Renault’s young driver development programme while Ricciardo was at the team, and this year was made available to McLaren as their reserve driver in addition to being Alpine’s.

Ricciardo said he “wanted to wish him well” when he spoke to Piastri. “What we spoke about is private, but also it doesn’t bother me saying it, I wanted to tell him that there’s no hard feelings because if there’s no communication, you never know what someone’s feeling or thinking.

“Obviously he’s a lot younger than me, so I don’t know maybe how he feels, if he’s nervous to reach out and see how I’m doing. I wanted to make sure that it was clear that I understand his position and absolutely no hard feelings.

“I think it made him feel better and I think it was the last thing he wanted, was to have some weird tension between a few of the only Australians that have ever been in this sport, so I’m glad that we’ve done that.”

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2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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10 comments on “Ricciardo told Piastri and Webber there’s “no hard feelings” over his McLaren exit”

  1. That is really nice from Ricciardo. I hope he finds a good place to be at for himself as well, even though it seems more and more likely that the best he can achieve by now at least for next year is 3rd driver/simulator driver (maybe even with McLaren? That probably wouldn’t make much sense though)

  2. Simulator driver for McLaren… eSports team

  3. Translation: I’m happy to be out and you don’t know all the problems you’re about to get into.

  4. Hard feelings? Mclaren is paying 20 million to get rid of him!
    If it wasn’t Piastri, it would be someone else. They don’t want him BAD.

    This venture was his worst mistake. Mclaren sold him the idea that with the right engines they could be a top team again and he fell for it. In reality they barely improved an he was terrible in all but a couple of races and his future now looks more and more uncertain. Retirement seems like the most dignified option he’s left with.

    1. I don’t think you can put this on McLaren: look at where Norris is putting that car, and how close to getting lapped Ricciardo is, by his own teammate

      1. That’s exactly what i’m getting at. Mclaren was looking for any option so as to release him early.
        Piastri, it seems, was the best one.

        Ricciardo was so bad that he can’t have hard feelings towards anyone. BUT even if he had performed on par with Norris, that’s not what he had expected when he signed. They were best of the rest with Renault, they’re best of the rest now.

        1. Yes, both are good points: underperformance from ricciardo and not star performance from mclaren, there were only a few races they were really competitive last year, like russia or monza or austria quali.

  5. My feeling with the Colton Herta license stuff is that Red Bull expect Gasly to go to Alpine. That kinda leaves Daniel with little wiggle room and his stock is obviously very low right now, I mean, maybe Williams? But that seems a bit of a push to me.

    I can see IndyCar being an option or WEC maybe? He could sit a year out and come back, but obviously that is very hard to pull off. It’s been done before – but F1 moves on very quickly, especially if peoples last memory of Daniel is finishing second last when Lando was 7th.

    He seems a beaten man right now – but I don’t worry about him post F1. I feel like you could give him a yo-yo and he’d find joy in it. Some drivers I think struggle after F1 when racing is all they’ve ever known. But Seb & Daniel don’t seem like that. They’ll find a purpose in something else, and probably be very good at it.

    1. It would be such a nice story to see him rise again in F1. I don’t see him getting a decent car again, certainly not for 2023, but I wish him the best. He didn’t deserve to be remembered like this. Such a cruel sport. And is it his fault? Who knows, maybe it really is just a bad combination, Ricciardo and McLaren, for whatever reason. He did quite well before last season. Still, I don’t get it…

  6. I’ve never been a big fan of Ricciardo’s but this speaks highly of him.

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