McLaren F1 slammed over Ricciardo treatment

Formula One is famed for people making ruthless decisions. Hamilton was about to be ditched by Ron Dennis when Brawn and Mercedes came calling in the nick of time. Daniel Ricciardo has now been sacked by Zak Brown mid way through his 2 year contract with the team. Yet the Aussie should not take it personally given the historic tales of how the ‘Piranha Club’ operates.

Damon Hill was given his marching orders by Frank Williams during the season while he was in the process of winning the drivers’ world title for the team in 1996.

Frank who founded the Williams team admitted some years later, “I probably thought at the time, almost certainly did: ‘Great, great. Thank you, Damon – we need to do better.’ And I thought the guy we chose would do better and in fact it was a serious error of judgment. For which I’m responsible.”

Damon Hill remarkably became the fourth Williams driver in 9 years who won the drivers’ title but was subsequently released the following season. Frank was indeed ruthless in pursuit of the next great ‘thing’.

Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost were all similarly sacked by Williams the year they became F1 world champions driving for the Grove based team.

Heinz Harald Frenzen from Sauber replaced world champion Damon Hill at Williams in 1997 but the German proved a huge disappointment despite Hill’s ex team mate Jacques Villeuve taking the drivers’ title.

The moral of the story is – this is not the end for Daniel Ricciardo. As they say ‘Form is temporary but class is permanent.’

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Daniel joined the big boy Red Bull team replacing Mark Webber in 2014 alongside 4 times world champion Sebastian Vettel. That season the Aussie dominated his 4 time world champion team mate and finished 4th in the drivers’ title. Vettel was 8th and suddenly on his way to Ferrari.

In 2015 Ricciardo was joined by Russian driver Daniel Kyat. The Red Bull car was less competitive that year and Ricciardo scored the only team’s podium in Hungary. Kvyat finished P8 in the drivers championship with Ricciardo in P9 close behind. 

The following year Kvyat was dropped after 4 races and the young Max Vertsappen was drafted in from Torro Rosso.. Ricciardo finished 3rd in driver’s championship with a win and 3 podiums 2 places ahead of young gun Verstappen.

2017 saw Ricciardo win a race for Red Bull together with 7 podiums but the team performance was poor as they were just third as a constructor. Verstappen again finished a place behind Ricciardo in the drivers’ title in P6.

Now having been Red Bull’s lead driver for 4 seasons Daniel Ricciardo faced his toughest year for the Milton Keynes team. Following a collision with team mate Verstappen in round 4 of the championship which saw both cars eliminated,. Ricciardo went into a spiral. 

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It appeared the team blamed him for the contact in Baku with Verstappen and that loss of confidence and support was something Ricciardo never recovered from. The Aussie racer actually landed two wins for Red Bull that season to Verstappen’s 1. However the Dutchman scored 249 points at the seasons end to Ricciardo’s 170. This would not have proven to be fatal for Red Bull’s Australian driver and the team wanted him for the following year.

Yet Ricciardo was fatally wounded mentally over the blame the team laid on him for the Baku double DNF and decided his time was up at Red Bull.

With hindsight it’s easy to see the mistakes F1 drivers make in their careers, but leaving Red Bull for Alpine in 2019 was Ricciardo’s biggest mistake at that point. He had matched and beaten Verstappen and seen of the Red Bull team’s 4 time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Baku his fault or not, should’ve have been handled better by Horner and the team.

After 2 successful ears at Alpine including a P5 in the drivers’ championship in 2020, Ricciardo was lured by McLaren ton replace Carlos Sainz who was on his way to Ferrari.

The rest is woeful history for the talented and likeable Australian.

When Sainz left McLaren he remarked, “their car is very difficult to drive”. Riiciardo responded, “thanks for telling me now mate” having signed for the Woking team.

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After a season and a half of struggling with the badly balanced McLaren F1 car, Riccardo is facing the sack. Zack Brown has decided its time for something new and signed Alpine’s academy driver Oscar Piastri.

The response over the treatment of the likeable Aussie driver half way through his contact has been remarkable.

ESPN’s Nate Saunders reported four teams have sounded Ricciardo out recently to “see where his head is at” and slammed McLaren for its treatment of the Aussie.

“It reflects very poorly on Brown and McLaren how they have treated Ricciardo over the past six months,” writes Saunders.

“Ricciardo, the only McLaren driver to have won an F1 race since 2012, has been the first to admit his performances have not been up to the standards he set at Red Bull and Renault but it feels as though he has been made as a scapegoat to deflect away from deeper problems at the team.”

Saunders isn’t alone in his praise for Ricciardo who is suffering tough times.

“Amid all the rumpus and pressure you have to commend Ricciardo on his grace and professionalism over these last few months,” tweeted Tom Gaymor. 

“Says everything about him as a man, he is a class act and I hope he keeps smiling and doing it his way.”



Daniel Ricciardo is a proven Formula One winner and top driver. He finished P5 in the drivers’ championship for Alpine in 2020 before he joined what he thought was a progression to McLaren.

In just 18 months he has not ‘lost it’, Ricciardo just needs a team where he can be the heart and sole of the garage. He also needs a car not so on the very edge where it breaks away from the driver without notice.

Renault’s Alain Prost admitted the team loved having Ricciardo as their driver due to his positivity and professionalism. Further he scored Renault’s best results for almost a decade.

Surely it is a no brainer that Alpine recruit the scorned McLaren driver for next season. Because seriously the other options after they cocked up the Alonso/Piastri situation – are bleak indeed.

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24 responses to “McLaren F1 slammed over Ricciardo treatment

  1. Pingback: McLaren F1 slammed over Ricciardo remedy - Brideable Finance·

  2. Discussing treatment of a legend driver from an amateur team , watch out Mc Laren Ricciardo is coming to kick your ass next year , Piastri your still a baby you will see how tough formula one is buddy lol

    • I was very much a fan of brown until this BS surrounding Thee Danny Boy from Aussie land. Daniel is a true good guy, funny, happy go lucky and was on thee precipice of stardom at redbull. Why is it that the good guys are always treated wrongly? Hamilton also comes to mind as it is not his fault that he made a great decision to go with Mercedes’ at the right time. Danny is a great guy and great driver- always fair reminds me of Alonso- always da gentleman on the track!!! Danny boy go get three world championships with Renault errr alpine as they have money too and get some there like Alonso has in the past! I have followed f1 since the early 1970s as I spent years growing up in London- niki lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi with the John Player Specail car, Jackie Stewart- on my lord the six wheeled elf Terrell! I miss those days but f1 is still something to enjoy- just wish it wasn’t all about money!!!

    • Daniel didn’t leave Red Bull just because of blame laid on him from teammates. He wasn’t happy about Max earning more money than him, also Daniel wasn’t okay being demoted from #1 driver for Redbull making way for Max to become Red Bulls #1 driver and Chris Horner’s golden boy. Daniel wants to be in the #1 driver in the fastest car. Also Daniel took a whopping $11,000,000 pay cut when he shifted from Alpine to McLaren. $25,000,000 contract with Alpine to $14,000,000 contract that’s now up in smoke. I hope Oscar is ready for the shit show.

  3. All about money meaning that Amy talent should have as shot at f1 regardless of their stature or upbringing with affluence- Stroll is an example- Daddy has placed him in a position that he is not able to do thee work or job necessary to win, but his dad has the capital- that’s why we have to love Hamilton regardless- by the way I new to commenting but just so that you know I am a kimi fan through and through- old school- I know what I am doing. Admire Alonso also as he is a true gentleman on the track- will not give his life for an idiot making a mistake!!!

  4. I wouldn’t call the switch from RB to Renault the biggest mistake, he did well at Renault. With hindsight the team couldn’t make their ambitions work on time, but would Riciardo stayed there they would have gone forward together, and he was the first driver over there. The switch to McLaren was the biggest mistake, the team was on the same level and Norris was already quite popular in the team, so for Riciardo to become lead driver was a gamble, which he lost.

  5. Judge 13 can you sent this article to Zak “Mr. Personality” Brown? I guess he didn’t review Riccardo’s resume. My issue with Brown is the way he publicly roasted Riccardo. Riccardo took the high road and did in fact improve his performance with a under performing race car. Yet the bag of wind Brown jumped up and down citing the Contract to the media. High road for Brown should have been a sit down with Riccardo in private. The professional way of doing business in the past. I guess he doesn’t realize that even a 4 time (Seb) or 7 time (Lewis) racing champions may have trouble dialing in a under performing race car. Who’s the jackass here!

    • Well, you can also say why Lando can consistently finish top 10 then? Danny needs to adapt his driving style to the car to extract performance. I hope if Danny goes to Alpine, he beat down Ocon and tops Mclaren next season haha!

      • Lando has been with the team much longer. Daniel has not had the seat time Lando has. Sometimes it can be difficult to adapt to the car and most of the drivers would agree with that. Look at Seb, two teams still no podiums, same with Lewis he has struggled first half of the season. Yet Russell has not with the same team and same car. It takes time and Brown, has no time or patience. If he could he would swap drivers every race. Mr. Personality runs two different series. Stress level and patiences level = heart attack!

      • Zack may sack himself running two teams. I wish him great health and bad luck in F1. I’m looking for the mid-pack teams to improve and pass McLaren this year. Mr. Personality may have made another bad decision changing drivers in the middle of the season.

  6. I believe Zak visits the courtroom regularly to gain an understanding of how F1 works 🙂

    • He takes the expensive route. Here’s where, I’m a auto manufacturer mentality comes in. I have the power you need to listen. As the the PR people say “Any press is good press”.

  7. Mr. Personality thinks the guy is incapable. I guess he would also take the same position with Seb. Maybe he should have Lando cloned. I personally think this was going to be a rough road this season since FIA changed the rules and sent teams in turmoil. We now see some top teams struggling. That’s exactly what FIA wanted. The series was in need of a change for the dedicated fan base. MB and McLaren did not fair well. RB and Ferrari came out the winners. I say ban the wind tunnels.

  8. Pingback: McLaren F1 slammed over Ricciardo treatment - US Story·

  9. DR just isn’t good enough right now. The partnership with McLaren is not the right one for DR and McLaren.
    As a team boss I would make the same decision. I think drivers are often held for too long while underperforming, only because they were good before.
    The connection between team, car and driver has to be right and that is not the case with DR. Recognize that and look for a team where this will work again.

    • Your statement about drivers being held too long. Okay your a Team Principal with a very capable new driver in your new team in a redesigned race car with less seat time then your other driver and now he incapable. Do you say that about Lewis or Seb? Do you think its the car and set-up? We just don’t add water in shake, presto car is fixed. Years ago the teams had set-up time on tracks prior to the season starting.

  10. Hey Daniel your great driver and lovely man loved by many fans people around world I am proud Aussie guy being watching Formula1 for 60years and Moto Gp Jack Miller Remy Garner everyone like Aussie boys and same V8 Supercars INDYCAR drivers to? Go Daniel McLaren car 2022 is very bad car just like Brown-Webber jealous of Daniel never liked Webber or Brown nasty people glad Daniel leaving the team the way he been treated as no 2 driver with 8 wins to Norris Nil hehe

  11. Looks like no one is proof-reading this article before it was posted online. The spelling mistakes…

  12. Yes, spelling is a bit off. With McLaren and Lando Norris, yes Lando has outperformed DR in this car. Lando is obviously very talented and can drive the car to 4th and 5th (sometimes) with his driving style. Perhaps if McLaren had listen a bit more to DR and made the car more suited to a driving style that has WON many Grand Pix’s, and achieved many more podiums, McLaren might be on the podium far more often. Just a thought. Agree DR’s only mistake was leaving Renault, hope he goes back and continues their trajectory.

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