The Australian driver ultimately did not deliver the results that were expected of him when he inked a deal with the British team and made the switch from Renault in early 2021, and McLaren’s patience has now run out.
They officially announced they were cutting ties on Wednesday, a year early, as both Ricciardo and the team confirmed that their partnership will come to an end after the current season.Assuming there are no surprises in the second part of the year, Ricciardo’s legacy with McLaren will likely be memories of his triumph in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
That is, to date, his only podium finish with the team. In total, he has accumulated 32 over the course of his career, while his number of victories stands at eight.MORE: Daniel Ricciardo reportedly chased by new Formula 1 team
Why is Daniel Ricciardo leaving McLaren?
Ricciardo confirmed the long-speculated news of his departure from McLaren in a statement, as well as posting a video on Twitter.
“It has been a privilege to be part of the McLaren family for the past two seasons, but after several months of discussions with Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually separate at the end of this season,” the Australian said.
“I will announce my own future plans in due course, but whatever this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and hard work I gave to McLaren, especially the win at Monza last season.
“I have enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren, both on the track and [at the team’s base] in Woking, and I will give it my all on and off the track as we enjoy the rest of the season together.
“I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be part of a sport I love so much and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) August 24, 2022
How long is Daniel Ricciardo under contract with McLaren?
Ricciardo arrived in early 2021 at McLaren and had a tie for three seasons. However, due to poor results, both parties have now decided that they will part ways at the end of 2022.
The Australian is free to negotiate with any other team, and it has been speculated that there are several interested parties.
Who will Daniel Ricciardo drive for in 2023, will he stay in Formula 1?
There are reportedly several teams interested in keeping Ricciardo in F1. Of the 10 teams that will compete in 2023, six of them have an open seat. Those are McLaren, Alpine, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas.
Alpine and Haas are believed to have shown interest in the 33-year-old, who has been in the sport since 2011.
According to ESPN, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner contacted Ricciardo to discuss his future during the mid-season break. He appears to be an alternative in case Mick Schumacher does not renew, although the experienced driver’s high salary of around USD $20 million appears to be a stumbling block.
Alpine, which lost Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and also Oscar Piastri (he refused to sign with the French team and will most likely go to McLaren), has a place and could be a good fit, given Ricciardo’s previous spell with the team when they were known as Renault in 2020.
His departure did cause some displeasure in the Renault corridors of power at the time, but he would likely still have the door opened for him again.
That year, the Australian secured two podiums: he finished third in the German Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix. In total, he competed in 38 races with Renault and amassed 173 points.
Ricciardo hasn’t always made good decisions in his career, though, especially when he left Red Bull. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go down the wrong path.
That, most likely, would be a move to Haas.
AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo and Williams, the other options, don’t seem that interested in signing him. A duo alongside Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri could prove interesting, although it is unlikely for 2023.
There are also options for Ricciardo outside of F1.
Earlier this year, the Herald Sun reported that the 33-year-old was issued an open-ended invitation by Supercars, the leading racing championship in Australia.
Ricciardo has previously expressed his desire to race in the famous Supercars Bathurst 1000 event, with a switch to the touring car series sure to please the Australian motorsport community.
A move to the United States to compete in NASCAR or Indycar also cannot be ruled out.
Notably, one of Ricciardo’s racing heroes is former NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Sr, with the Australian driving his 1984 Chevrolet last year.