Hard Talk: McLaren tell Ricciardo its over

Formula One fans dread the summer break. Following a double headed pair of racing weekends in Paul Ricard and Budapest filled with exciting racing on track and Ferrari drama’s, F1 followers were set for 4 weeks without their favourite sporting fix as the drivers and teams take a well earned break. Step up Fernando Alonso who on day one of the summer holidays surprised his team and the F1 media by announcing he was leaving Alpine and had a multi year deal starting with Ferrari in 2023.

Alpine were clearly caught on the hop, though they had offered Alonso a one year deal followed by sports car racing. The team believed Alonso would accept this and they were then set to place their star academy driver Oscar Piastri to debut F1 with either Wiliams or Haas.

Alonso obviously decided his longer term future in F1 was better served by joining Aston Martin less than 12 hours after Alpine’s option to retain him for 2023 and beyond expired.

How Aston Martin “mugged” alpine over Alonso signing

Alpine then scrambled to sign Piastri as Fernando’s replacement but couldn’t get hold of Mark Webber his agent who was clearly off surfing in some remote location where mobile phone reception could not reach. Either that or his phone was turned off.



The next losing move by the French outfit was to decide to announce Piastri as Alonso’s replacement anyway but to their horror just 90 minutes later Piastri tweeted, “I will not be driving for Alpine in 2023”.

Piastri is likely miffed with Renault/Alpine because despite winning the 2021 F2 championship hands down it was another Renault academy driver who was placed in F1 with Alfa Romeo.

The disgruntlement Pisatri felt had clearly led Mark Webber to find him another drive for 2023, with McLaren. Though Motorsport.com report he will be a McLaren test driver for next season then step up to race alongside Norris when Ricciardo’s contract expires.

This is highly unlikely because given the opportunity by Alpine to drive in F1 next season, Piastri would probably not have taken up the option McLaren were offering.

Alpine’s option to retain Oscar Piastri expired the same day as did their option on Fernando Alonso. Rather an amateurish state of affairs for the French owned F1 team.

Alpine lose two drivers in two days, here’s how the incompetence unravelled



TJ13 reported earlier today that the FIA’s contract recognition board has rejected Alpine’s claim on Piastri and that McLaren are free to contract with Alpine’s ex academy driver.

As the day progressed, information has come to light that McLaren have now told Ricciardo he will not be driving for them next season to make way for Oscar Piastri.

What now for Ricciardo?

At the GP in Monaco Zak Brown revealed, “I don’t want to get into the contract [details] but there But there are mechanisms in which we are committed to each other and then there are mechanisms in which we are not.”

This implies a break clause at the end of Daniel’s 2 year contract this winter. Ricciardo will have an option to break but Brown implies McLaren do too.

The break clause from McLaren’s perspective would almost certainly be based on a performance metric. Ricciardo may have been set an absolute target number of points by race 14, or it could be he is expected to score no less than a certain percentage of the points his team mate has achieved.

Lando Norris has 76 points and Ricciardo just 19. This means Ricciardo has scored just 20% of McLaren’s points this season.



While rookie Guanyu Zhou has only about 10% of Alfa Romeo’s points, Daniel has won races and finished P5 2 seasons ago in the driver’s championship.

Mich Schumacher who is in his second season in F1 has around 33% of Haas points, in his rookie year the team failed to score a point.

So if there is a performance metric in place, Ricciard’s payoff is in trouble.

If not, then McLaren will have to pay the Aussie the 2023 remuneration he would have received to leave the team. 

However, when Fernando Alonso left McLaren, he was paid the remainder of his contract with the condition if he joined another F1 team, the payment must be returned. Alonso accordingly left F1 and raced in WEC sports cars and IndyCar for two years until the exclusion clause expired.

If Ricciardo has a similar clause but wants to remain within Formula One. To avoid a sticky situation Ricciardo will likely be part paid for the contract monies owed for 2023 and his new team – maybe ALPINE – will then be able to pay Ricciardo an amount to top Ricciardo’s earning’s back up to those he would have received if he’d seen out his contract at McLaren.

FIA board throw out Alpine’s contract claim on Piastri

Ricciardo set to replace Alonso at Alpine


7 responses to “Hard Talk: McLaren tell Ricciardo its over

  1. Ouch! Tough crowd, if you have ever been in the writing business with deadlines and juggling more than one topic without an proof reader or Editor its not easy.

  2. Zak “Mr. Personality” Brown finally gets to fix his mistake or was it a combination of the car and team? Did you email him too Zak? That’s usually how uncaring people operate. Don’t forget to tell the media that your drivers think the car is difficult. But we know that!

    Riccardo took the high road and Mr. Personality whined in public. A nice way to build your team’s confidence. The Team Principal gets an “F” for handling this fiasco. Do we need a Team Principal class on how to run a team? Mattia and you need to share notes. I wish you nothing but bad luck in F1 and Indy Series.

  3. Lol this is a joke if mclaren keep Zak in charge they will never win they don’t even challenge good teams alpine has a better car anyway head up Danny boy you will be better at alpine or has the both cars seem alot better than the mclaren poor show for mclaren would also like to mention how can a rookie be better than ricciardo it’s not just about the driving it also needs drivers that knows where and how and the understanding of upgrades this little boy hasn’t got a clue Hooe to see mclaren do bad 2023 Danny boy get with alpine a much better car and team

  4. Alpine needs to bury the problem and move on! Put Daniel in the seat and just watch the performance and aggression take over. I have two miniature copies on the McLaren F1 cars in my freezer that has pins stuck in them. The wrath of the F1 Gods will also take care of McLaren. Hah!

  5. Judge 13: How about an edit provision in your forum for grammar and spelling mistakes. Yes I should proof read better. However, your forum has me moving to fast with great articles.

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