Daniel Ricciardo confirms McLaren departure, Oscar Piastri set to replace seat


By Damien McCartney and AP

Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren will part ways at the end of the Formula 1 season after a buyout was negotiated with the Australian in the final year of his contract.

After weeks of speculation over his three-year contract, which was to see him through to the end of 2023, the team and driver announced his departure in a statement.

“I wanted to share some news. It’s not great,” Ricciardo said in a video message shared with fans overnight. “It sure is bittersweet, but I think you better hear it from me.”

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“It has been a privilege to be part of the McLaren Racing family for the past two seasons,” said Ricciardo, adding that he had discussed his future with McLaren for “several months” before reaching a mutual agreement to put end of the agreement. one year earlier.

“I will announce my own future plans in due course, but whatever this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and I am proud of the effort and hard work I put in at McLaren, in particular the victory at Monza, last season.

“I have never been more motivated to compete and be part of a sport that I love so much and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Ricciardo joined the Woking side ahead of the 2021 season. He endured two difficult seasons and was beaten by his young teammate Lando Norris.

Ricciardo currently languishes 12th in the Championship standings with just 19 points. Norris is seventh with 76 points. His best result of the season was sixth at the Australian Grand Prix in March, while Norris took the podium at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in April.

McLaren boss Zak Brown acknowledged in May that Ricciardo’s seat was shaky and said there were “mechanisms” in which the driver and team could part ways ahead of the 2023 season. turned out to be a buyout as Ricciardo held the option on next season.

Although initial reports suggest Ricciardo was looking for over $29m to leave the team early, McLaren is believed to have paid $22m to terminate the contract.

McLaren is widely believed to have signed F2 champion Oscar Piastri, also Australian, for Ricciardo’s seat. No announcement was made by McLaren, but Piastri declined a promotion to F1 with Alpine.

“Daniel has been a great addition to McLaren, and it’s been a pleasure working with him,” Brown said. “It’s no secret that we hoped we could achieve more together, but seeing him take the top step of the podium as a McLaren driver was a highlight.”

It’s unclear where Ricciardo will end up, although a return to Alpine – the team he left at the end of 2020 – is seen as likely.

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