Following weeks of speculation, the McLaren Formula 1 team has confirmed that Australian Daniel Ricciardo will leave the team at the end of the current season.
Ricciardo joined McLaren at the start of 2021, replacing Carlos Sainz, who had left for Ferrari. While many expected Ricciardo to lead McLaren back to the front of the grid, the Australian has been chiefly outpaced by his teammate Lando Norris. However, Ricciardo did add to his tally of wins in F1, when he claimed McLaren’s first win since 2012 at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, leading Norris for what was a spectacular one-two for McLaren.
The Australian will part ways with the Woking-based outfit a year earlier than anticipated.
“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 in a press statement.
“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.”
Brown and Seidl hail Monza win
McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown admitted that results haven’t gone in the direction he expected but still commended Ricciardo’s win in Italy last year as a highlight for the entire team.
“Daniel has been a great addition to McLaren, and it’s been a pleasure working with him,” Brown said in the press statement.
“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.”
Meanwhile, team principal Andreas Seidl praised Ricciardo’s work ethic even in trying times, he was also quick to point out that there still remained a battle to fight for the remainder of the season.
“I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication and contribution over the last two seasons so far,” Seidl stated.
“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 constructor’s championship ahead of us for the remainder of the season and we look forward to battle this out with Daniel and Lando.”
Ricciardo’s departure leaves the door open for Oscar Piastri, who many expect will partner Norris in 2023.