For many months, Daniel Ricciardo has been struggling. The McLaren Formula 1 driver simply has too few points on his account to silence the critics and former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve is certain that the Australian will soon have to go, and that his “time is over”.
“Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren is over,” claims Jacques Villeneuve in his column at “formule1.nl”. The Canadian says he has long recognised the signs of this with team boss Zak Brown. “Zak Brown says there are clauses in Ricciardo’s contract and that means a decision has almost been made.”
That statement, Villeneuve said, was “a way of putting pressure on the driver and preparing the media. At the end of the day, he is a highly paid driver who has cost the team a lot of money. He doesn’t score points and he doesn’t have the speed the team needs to develop the car.”
If it’s up to the 51-year-old Jacques, Daniel Ricciardo will probably only has a contract at McLaren until the end of 2022, although neither the racing team nor the driver has ever confirmed the duration of the working contract with its clauses activated.
This website reported on Daniel’s situation just before Monaco, with the understanding that actually the decision and clauses are already in motion, and the Australian will be out sooner rather than later, likely replaced by a certain ‘other Australian’, although some other sources say a surprise swap with Pierre Gasly could be on the cards.
What is clear is that the pressure is indeed more and more on Ricciardo’s shoulders. So far, the veteran has only managed to score eleven World Championship points. While his team-mate Lando Norris has already scored five points in seven races and also claimed a podium place, whereas the Australian has missed the top ten in six Grands Prix.
And since Ricciardo, with an estimated annual salary of 15 million euros, is also one of the most expensive drivers in the field, the criticism of the “honey badger” is getting louder and louder.
This is “a harsh reality, but that’s Formula 1” according to Villeneuve.