Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren have “mutually agreed” that the Australian will leave at the end of this season and not 2023 as his contract stated.
Despite the high of Monza 2021, where Ricciardo led Lando Norris home for McLaren’s first victory since the final race of 2012 and their first 1-2 since midway through the 2010 season, the Australian’s time at the British team has not been as successful as hoped.
Ricciardo has seemed to struggle to get to grips with the Mercedes-powered McLarens over the past season and a half and as a result, has been subject to constant media speculation about his contract with the team, which was set to run to the end of 2023, so much so that the 33 year old posted a message to social media ahead of the French Grand Prix in July where he denied all rumours about his and McLaren’s possible break up.
Just over a month later and those rumours have now partially become reality as the Australian will now not complete his three year contract and instead part ways with the team after the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons,” Ricciardo said in the press release, “but following several months of discussions with Zak & 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.”
The McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl, thanked Ricciardo for his dedication and positivity over the course of the challenging seasons together: “I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication and contribution over the last two seasons so far. 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.”
Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, added that the Australian has been a pleasure to work with and while the partnership didn’t pan out as hoped for, his Monza win was a highlight.
“Daniel has been a great addition to McLaren,” Brown said, “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.”
McLaren say that their replacement for Ricciardo for 2023 will be announced “in due course”, while the Australian himself is “not sure yet” what his future looks like.
In a video posted on his social media channels a visibly dismayed Ricciardo announced the news to his followers, thanking them for their support and said that despite the tough couple of years his enthusiasm for Formula 1 hasn’t wavered.
DR “Hey everyone. Wanted to share some news, it’s not great, it’s bittersweet for sure but I think it’s best you hear it from me. 2022 will be my last year with McLaren. Obviously we put in a lot of effort on both sides but it just hasn’t worked the way we wanted so the team’s decided to make a change for next year. We had a lot of discussions but in the end we mutually agreed that it was the right thing for both of us.
“I will continue to do the rest of this year, absolutely, I’ll continue to give it my all, so that’s that. I think for the future, what lies ahead, I’m not sure yet but we’ll see. I look back on this time with McLaren, I look back with a smile. I learnt a lot about myself, I think things that will help me for the next step in my career but I think just in general in life.
“From a results point of view to consistently get the results and that form that I was after, it wasn’t always there and it made some weekends tough. I felt those absolutely, but I also have many happy memories of my time at the team. I think about Monza, I think about standing on the top step, I think about bringing the team their first win since 2012, that sort of stuff was awesome and to see the smiles on everyone’s faces, to just be in that moment, that’s something I’ll never forget. So, there’s a lot of good stuff to take from this as well.
“The sport, I still love it. This hasn’t affected any of that. 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, but yeah, just wanted to say I appreciate everyone’s support through the highs, lows, everything in between. This isn’t it for me but we’ll see what lies ahead. Just want to say I appreciate ya, and I’ll see you in Spa.”
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) August 24, 2022