Daniel Ricciardo will not race for McLaren after the ongoing season. The Australian racing driver and the British Formula 1 team “mutually agreed” to terminate his contract a year ahead of schedule.

Ricciardo, who has won Grand Prix races eight times including one for McLaren, had joined the F1 team on a three-year deal in 2021 and was to race with the side till the end of the 2023 season.

The news of the termination comes within a month of Ricciardo insisting that he “is committed to McLaren until the end of next year.”

More about Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren

What led to the termination of the contract?

Daniel and Lando
Image credit: McLaren/@McLarenF1/Twitter

The 33-year-old has struggled with his performance while his much younger team-mate, British racer Lando Norris, has been performing excellently at the races.

Norris was sixth overall in the 2021 season with 160 points while Ricciardo finished eighth with 115 points.

In the ongoing season, Norris was ahead of Ricciardo at 11 of the 13 races. He has 76 points compared to just 19 of Ricciardo.

Ricciardo has nine races left for the 2022 season, starting with the Belgian Grand Prix on 28 August. He would look to improve his standing on the chart, where he is currently in 12th place while Norris is way high above at seventh.

Will Oscar Piastri replace Ricciardo?

McLaren hasn’t announced who would replace him as Norris’ team-mate in 2023, but reports suggest that the talented 21-year-old Australian Oscar Piastri will join the team.

Piastri is a Formula Two champion. Earlier in August, French F1 team Alpine announced that he would be racing for them. But the driver himself denied the company’s statement saying that he has other plans.

What did Ricciardo and McLaren say post termination?

Following McLaren’s announcement, Ricciardo said, “It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons but following several months of discussions with Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] & Andreas [Seidl, Team Principal] we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season.”

He said that he will be “announcing my own future plans in due course.”

“I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza, last season,” he added.

Commenting on his time with the team, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said, “It’s no secret that we hoped we could achieve more together but seeing him stand on the top step of the podium as a McLaren driver was a highlight. We wish him well for the future and let’s go enjoy the rest of the season together.”

Before McLaren, Ricciardo raced for Red Bull, Renault and Alpine. Reports speculate that he might return to Alpine to fill the seat left vacant by a departing Fernando Alonso, who will be racing for Aston Martin starting 2023.

(Main image: Formula 1; Featured image: Daniel Ricciardo/@danielricciardo/Twitter)

written by.
Manas Sen Gupta
Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.

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