After two Formula 1 seasons, Daniel Ricciardo will leave McLaren next year. The Australian’s contract for 2023 has been terminated and he does not have a new team for the moment. A situation that saddens Christian Horner. The Red Bull boss does not recognise the driver he had under his command from 2014 to 2018 declaring in a rather shocking way that he’s not the same driver compared to back then, but believes that he has a full place in F1 and wishes him to continue in the sport.
“McLaren Racing and Daniel Ricciardo can confirm that Daniel’s 2023 contract has been terminated early, with both parties agreeing that he will leave the team at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season.” announced McLaren when they made it known that Daniel Ricciardo’s departure will happen at the end of the season.
Since his arrival, the Australian driver has struggled to really establish himself within the British team. A situation that saddens his former boss at Red Bull, Chrsitian Horner who admitted that “I don’t recognise the driver he used to be with us,” reports Motorsport.com.
“It’s just very sad that I’m not close to him. I’ve spoken to Daniel a bit but I don’t recognise him as the same driver he was when he was with us,
“He’s one of the best guys in F1 though,” continued Christian Horner.
“He definitely has the talent. I hope he finds a seat in F1, I hope he finds his mojo because if you think about some of the races for us, winning Monaco with 50% of the power in 2018,
“He has performed incredibly well and when he was alongside Seb in 2014, think back to how he was performing, how close he was to Max as well. It’s tough for him, but I really hope he finds something for the future.”
For Christian Horner, “Max has moved on since Daniel left the team. But Daniel, in his day, he was right there,”
“He performed incredibly well, and we were sad to see him leave the team. His confidence was undermined. We used to see him on the podiums doing shoeys, having fun with his big smile. We don’t see any of that anymore,
“I hope for him that he finds an opportunity to continue his career, because I think Formula One would be better off having him in this championship than not having him.”
Another Australian is being lined up to replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren. Oscar Piastri, who is currently in dispute with Alpine who’ve gone legal, and has to go before the F1 board used to manage contract disputes.
Although Ricciardo does not yet know what he will do next season, the former Renault driver revealed that his phone had been ringing a lot during the summer break. Indeed it appears that Haas are very keen to sign the former Red Bull driver.
Ricciardo did not rule out the possibility of taking a sabbatical if he did not receive an offer that met his expectations:
“If it makes sense, then yes. F1 is the only sport that interests me, but as I said, if the stars don’t align and it doesn’t make sense, then I’m ready to do it. I still love the sport. I still love it and I still want to do it in the right place,” he said.
“It’s not the greatest feeling, but I can hold my head up high and try to make it work. You have to accept that you tried and it didn’t work. It’s just one of those things,
“I’m proud of the way we tried to make it happen. It’s not over. This call from Zak didn’t just happen one day. We’ve been talking for a few months. There has been a lot of dialogue, but I also knew it was a concern because the results I was getting were not up to what we all wanted,
“We discussed for months how to rectify the problems.”
With Oscar Piastri being tipped to replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, Ricciardo has spoken out about the possibility of his compatriot taking his place at the British team.
“Honestly, I still don’t know what the future holds for Oscar. It’s none of my business. Mark (Webber) is doing his job for Oscar. I don’t take any of this personally. I will support a fellow Australian.”