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Daniel Ricciardo has McLaren contract but ‘mechanisms’ for 2023 as F1 ‘rumors intensify’

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Daniel Ricciardo scored just 11 points this season and was overqualified by Lando Norris for all seven races; McLaren admits there are ‘mechanisms’ which could prevent the Australian from reaching the end of his three-year contract in 2023

Last update: 06/07/22 06:07

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Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his McLaren and crashed into the barriers during practice 2 of the Monaco Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his McLaren and crashed into the barriers during practice 2 of the Monaco Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo is adamant he has a contract in place until 2023, but McLaren says there are ‘mechanisms’ which could see his stay end early as rumors increase over the future of the club. Australian with the team.

Ricciardo joined McLaren as a top signing in 2021 and was expected to manage the team and young team-mate Lando Norris, but has had a mixed debut campaign and has struggled even more so far this year.

Yet to outclass Norris and score just 11 points from the Briton’s 48, Ricciardo’s form has led to questions over his future.

The eight-time race winner, after previously hinting he would have talks with McLaren this summer over next season, has told Monaco he does indeed have a three-year contract until 2023 .

He then said after a difficult qualifying: “I have a contract in place. But I don’t want to be 14th. That’s not what I’m racing for, let’s put it like that.”

Jenson Button shares his thoughts on Ricciardo's situation at McLaren after another tough weekend

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Jenson Button shares his thoughts on Ricciardo’s situation at McLaren after another tough weekend

Jenson Button shares his thoughts on Ricciardo’s situation at McLaren after another tough weekend

There’s an implication from McLaren’s side, meanwhile, that there’s some sort of performance clause for Ricciardo’s contract to last three years, with team principal Andreas Seidl saying “our aim is simply to make this work” while CEO Zak Brown took a step forward. further by hinting at options to end the deal early.

“There are mechanisms in which we engage with each other and there are mechanisms in which we don’t,” said Brown, who previously told Sky Sports F1 that Ricciardo did not respond. to McLaren’s expectations.

“I spoke with Daniel about it, we’re not getting the results we both hoped for. But we’re both going to keep pushing.

“He showed at Monza [2021 Italian GP] he can win races. We also have to keep developing our car, it’s not capable of winning races, but we would like to see it higher on the grid.

“We’re just going to play…I don’t mean ‘one race at a time’ because we’re not going one race at a time – but we’ll just see how things develop.”

Brundle: ‘I don’t see him at McLaren next year’

Ricciardo has proven himself to be one of F1’s best, but at McLaren – and this year in particular – he just hasn’t mastered the car. Although it has plenty of time and talent to secure its future, McLaren needs two competitive drivers and there will be plenty of willing drivers given the lack of opportunities further up the grid.

In his latest column, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle said the ‘tension and frustration is now becoming public’ between Ricciardo and McLaren, while former Sky Sports Germany F1 driver Ralf Schumacher cast doubt on the future. from the Australian.

“The rumors and also the voices within the team are getting louder and louder,” he said. “He’s just too far behind his teammate.”

“He has to start changing things now because if it stays that way now, I don’t see him driving at McLaren next year.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown suggests Ricciardo is not yet comfortable with the car while Lando Norris is one of the best drivers in the world right now.

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown suggests Ricciardo is not yet comfortable with the car while Lando Norris is one of the best drivers in the world right now.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown suggests Ricciardo is not yet comfortable with the car while Lando Norris is one of the best drivers in the world right now.

Jenson Button, meanwhile, said he was surprised McLaren had criticized Ricciardo.

“Formula 1 is a real mental game,” Sky F1’s Button said on Any Driven Monday. “They all have immense skills but you don’t perform if your head is not in the right place.

“I was surprised that Zak came out and said he didn’t live up to expectations – we all know that. But when your team manager comes out and says that, it really hurts. Based on the response from Daniel, it hurts.

“Hopefully they’ve spoken to each other since the Monaco GP and can focus on getting the best out of Daniel and the team around him for the rest of the year. Then , we’ll see where it ends up in the future.”

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