McLaren Racing and Daniel Ricciardo Part Ways at the of End the Season
Daniel Ricciardo at the French Grand Prix. Le Castellet. July 24, 2022. Photo Courtesy: Daniel Ricciardo Media.

McLaren Racing and Daniel Ricciardo will part ways at the end of the 2022 season, a year earlier than initially agreed on, the team announced Wednesday.

Following the end of summer break, Formula One action on and off the track resumes this weekend at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, McLaren Racing issued a statement confirming Daniel Ricciardo’s contract will be terminated at the end of 2022, one year earlier than agreed upon.

According to the British squad, both parties have mutually resolved to follow different paths.

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said: “Daniel has been a great addition to McLaren, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. I’d like to thank him for all of his efforts over the last two seasons, both trackside and back at base.”

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.

The Australian joined the team founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren, the second oldest active team in Formula One history and the second most successful, only behind Scuderia Ferrari, ahead of the 2021 season after two years driving for the Renault F1 Team.

That same year, the 33-year-old signed a new multi-year deal with the outfit to extend his contract until at least the end of 2023.

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 and Andreas, we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season,” Ricciardo asserted.

Speaking about his future, he outlined: “I’ll be announcing my own future plans in due course, but regardless of what this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza last season.”

I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren, both trackside and back in Woking, and will be giving my all on and off track, as we enjoy the remainder of the season together.”

Adding: “I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be a part of a sport that I love so much and look forward to what comes next.”

In the 14th round of his first season with the Woking-based team, the Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo captured McLaren’s first victory since 2012, stepping to the top of the podium in Monza, recording his eighth career win in the series.

Moreover, McLaren wrapped up a perfect Sunday in Italy with a one-two podium, as Ricciardo’s teammate, Lando Norris, crossed the finished line in second place.

However, the comparisons between the drivers’ performances did not take long to create controversy, as the former Red Bull Racing driver failed to be as consistent as Norris in terms of results - the Briton often out-qualified his teammate.

The 22-year-old rounded up a highly competitive 2021 season, finishing in sixth place, earning his first Formula One pole position at the Russian Grand Prix, and stepping on the podium on four occasions.

Meanwhile, by the end of the season, Ricciardo sat in eighth place in the driver’s overall standings, on 115 points, tasting victory following his outstanding triumph in Monza.

All in all, McLaren finished fourth in the constructor’s championship, scoring 275 points in the overall standings.

Thus far into the 2022 season, Ricciardo sits in 12th place, scoring 19 points. On home soil, he claimed his best result, a sixth place at the Australian Grand Prix.

On Wednesday, Norrie took to Twitter, writing: “What a ride @danielricciardo. From that moment in Monza to the laughs we’ve had out of the car, it’s been a joy working with you these last two years. Whatever’s next, I wish you all the best, let’s have a mega next few months.”

Throughout his journey in Formula One, the Perth-born driver, who made his debut at the pinnacle of motorsport in 2011 at the British GP, holds 223 starts, summing up 1293 career points, stepping onto the podium on 32 occasions.

His maiden victory came in 2014 at the Canadian GP driving for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing outfit, partnering four-time FIA Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.

In addition, he won the Hungarian GP before recording his third career victory in Belgium, a circuit that suits him just fine and that this weekend will see him behind the wheel of the MCL36, a car struggling to adapt to the new technical regulations.

In 2016, his third season with the team, his second partnering 2021 F1 world champion Max Verstappen, he found his way back to winning ways, nailing a triumph at the Malaysian GP, scoring points at each of the 21 rounds of the F1 calendar.

The following season he won the Azerbaijan GP, though reliability issues would see him retiring more than once across the year.

In 2018, he added two more victories to his name in China and Monaco, those being his last at the wheel of a Red Bull challenger as he would join Renault from the 2019 season.

The second half of 2022 is underway, and the charismatic Australian will have nine races left with McLaren to do what he does best, driving.

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren F1 Team, outlined: “Despite the shared challenges, he has always turned up with a fighting spirit and positivity and helped the entire team to always keep pushing forward. We will never forget that memorable race win in Monza, which was a great boost for the whole team.”

We still have an important battle in the constructor’s championship ahead of us for the remainder of the season, and we look forward to battling this out with Daniel and Lando.”

McLaren Mercedes currently sits in 5th place in the team’s overall standings.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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