Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2022

Would McLaren be right to drop Ricciardo for 2023?

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When McLaren first announced in 2020 that Daniel Ricciardo would be joining them to fill the seat that would be vacated by Carlos Sainz Jnr for 2021, it seemed like the perfect match.

McLaren were gaining an established grand prix winner with nine-and-a-half seasons of experience who had brought Renault back onto the podium multiple times during 2020. Alongside the highly promising talent Lando Norris, it would be hard to blame McLaren CEO Zak Brown and team principal Andreas Seidl for feeling very encouraged for the team’s future.

But whatever McLaren, Ricciardo or the team’s legions of fans expected from having the Australian join the team, it would not have been a pattern of consistently underwhelming results and a total points difference of 102 between Norris and Ricciardo scored over 35 races together so far.

With Formula 1 resting over the summer, rumours and reports indicate that McLaren are now actively looking to escape from their contractual commitment with Ricciardo for 2023 – with Oscar Piastri’s dispute with Alpine not unrelated to the situation at McLaren.

But would McLaren be correct to drop Ricciardo – one of the most successful drivers of his generation – just half way through their three season agreement with him?

For

Certainly since Formula 1 entered the 21st Century, it’s hard to think of a driver signing that has been as underwhelming as Daniel Ricciardo joining McLaren – especially given what Ricciardo had previously achieved at Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Renault prior to joining Woking.

Rather than being the elder, experienced leader among the team’s two drivers, Ricciardo has regularly been made to look like a rookie in comparison to Norris – a driver who is literally two-thirds his age. In their time sharing the garage together, Norris has secured five podium finishes, while Ricciardo only has a single one to his name.

Ricciardo’s difficult first season with McLaren was excused for the difficulty in adapting to a new car for 2021, which was largely an evolution of the 2020 car. Many other drivers who switched teams last season also struggled relative to their team mates.

But 2022 was supposed to be a reset for Ricciardo and allow him to begin afresh – yet his deficit to Norris is now greater than it ever has been. With McLaren locked in a battle with Alpine for fourth in the constructors’ championship, they cannot afford to be reliant on Norris alone to take the fight to Alpine when both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon are delivering regular points finishes.

That Ricciardo’s struggles have continued in 2022 is the most worrying sign for McLaren. With no explanation for why he appears unable to perform at his best, there’s nothing to suggest anything will magically change in year three. Making the call to part ways now and go a different direction for next season is the tough decision, but could be the best for the team long-term.

Against

Daniel Ricciardo’s performances with McLaren thus far may have been underwhelming, but that does not necessarily mean that to give up on him now would be the best solution to his struggles.

On occasion, he has shown that he is capable of running with Norris in races this season and even been faster at points, only for team orders to have come into play. His performances at his home grand prix in Australia and in Azerbaijan are evidence that he is clearly capable of matching Norris on track when he gets on top of the car.

Also, the idea of replacing Ricciardo with one of the many alternative driving talents currently attached to McLaren may seem appealing, but it’s also a risk in itself. Offering the seat to any of the IndyCar drivers to have tested with the team or signed to development contracts with them would be to take a bold gamble that has often failed to pay off in history, while Oscar Piastri is still a rookie and comes with unknowns, despite his glittering junior career

Finally, there’s also the demonstrable factor that Ricciardo has clearly not lost his race-winning abilities. After taking seven career wins at Red Bull during his five seasons with the team, Ricciardo was a proven race winner. The one and only time he has come close to a sniff of a victory during his time in papaya – back in Monza last year – Ricciardo delivered McLaren’s first win in almost a decade, beating Norris in the process.

It might be hard to see what could be changed to help bring Ricciardo back to his best once more, but if the magic solution can be found, McLaren could very well unlock the driver they hoped to have when they first signed him. By giving up on him now, they will lose the chance of ever doing so.

I say

In many professional sport environments, there are plenty of examples of teams falling for the so-called ‘sunk-cost fallacy’ – the idea that it’s better to stick with a decision rather than change course due to the high level of investment put into it. By contemplating replacing Ricciardo, McLaren clearly are trying to avoid making such a mistake themselves.

If they did, they would be entirely justified to do so.

Ricciardo’s achievements through his career so far have proven that he is a more than formidable driver. Rather than simply win easy races in a superior car, almost all of his grand prix victories have been hard-fought battles in a car that was not the class of the field. You do not do that if you are fundamentally lacking elite talents as a driver in Formula 1.

However, Ricciardo’s performances at McLaren have largely failed to live up to any reasonable expectations his team or anyone in the paddock could have had for him since joining the team. His first season could be generously excused given the circumstances of the year, but the fact that his woes have continued into season two – and that the chasm to Norris in the standings has only gotten wider – means that McLaren are entirely within their rights to not only question their commitment to him for a third season, but actively look for another direction to go with.

These difficult two years do not necessarily mean that Ricciardo is ‘washed’ or has somehow lost his edge or potency as a racer and it would not be shocking to see him move elsewhere and begin to demonstrate his skills once again. However, it is simply a matter that McLaren have invested a lot of effort, time and money to get the great Daniel Ricciardo they had seen for many years in their team and he has simply failed to provide them a worthwhile return on the track.



You say

Do you agree that McLaren should drop Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 Formula 1 season?

  • Strongly agree (37%)
  • Slightly agree (34%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (9%)
  • Slightly disagree (10%)
  • Strongly disagree (10%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 217

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 70 comments on “Would McLaren be right to drop Ricciardo for 2023?”

    1. If Alpine want him, he should go there. It’s a chance to recover his F1 career. If he spends another year struggling at McLaren, I can’t see where he’d go then.

      The top teams won’t want him, Aston and Alpine will have drivers already signed up so at best, it’d be Haas, Alfa Romeo or Williams….

      I think it’ll either be Alpine for 2023 or Indycar for 2024.

      1. Totally agree. Going back to Alpine may actually be just the right thing for his career. He’ll have a large pay off, be in a competitive car that is currently arguably better than the Mclaren. If the Mclaren has weird driving characteristics (which I believe I heard Lano say recently), then he escapes that at Alpine. Also Ocon is a great benchmark. He’s good, but not great, and Daniel easily beat him last time. It will give good information about his form. If he can now not beat Ocon then either he has majorly lost form OR he can’t adapt to the new cars.

        If he beats Ocon he regains his position as a team leader in a major team. At Mclaren he will always be a number 2 who everyone is disappointed in.

        The move is basically a win win for him.

        1. If he beats Ocon he regains his position as a team leader in a major team.

          If Daniel beats Esteban, that should spell the end of both drivers’ careers in Formula 1.

        2. I doubt he can really save his career. Beating Ocon is really not much to shout about, I think that would only prove that Ocon is overrated – I mean he’s not able to be on par with old Alonso.

          Ricciardo not being able to set up the car and not knowing what makes him fast – I don’t think that’s going to work for many teams.

          1. Ocon is just a good average driver you could see that in the earliy series as he was always in the best teams possible.
            But in F1 you saw he never ever could beat any teammates so very overrated.

            I think Dan is feeling his age and his skills he never kept tuned (like the young guard would do) as when he left the track so switch into his cowboy mentality. And how older he will be how harder is to switch back into the racer.

      2. Completely Agree. The Alpine might be more suited to his style than the McLaren anyway.
        McLaren have really let him down. The way they treated him is frankly appalling, and if I was a driver Id think long and hard before coming to McLaren. They havent supported him, put too much pressure on him when their car was crap, and they massively fumbled these regs. Theyre further behind the big three than they were last year.

        1. The way McLaren have treated Riccardo is appalling? How do you figure that? He’s been given the same tools, data, etc that his teammate has as far as I’m aware, and after 9 years experience he should be able to at least equal his junior teammate, no matter how good or bad the car is.

          I like the guy, but he just hasn’t seemed to have it all together since joining McLaren. He should have stayed with Renault / Alpine, where he was seeing success from having a team built around him.

        2. To be fair, Mclaren would be further ahead in the championship if Riccardo had scored more points. It is a bad craftsman who blames his tools, and I doubt Riccardo feels the way that you do about the opportunity that he has been given. I expect that he is mostly frustrated with himself for not being able to come to grips with the equipment that he has been given. I hope he gets the chance to show his old form again before the sand runs out of the hourglass.

        3. I don’t think they’ve been appalling to him. They stood behind him and every week they talk about trying to help him through it. Reality is he has been underperforming for 17 months, in most sports he’d have lost his job at the end of last year.

        4. You’ve got this one very wrong. They gave him a car that half the grid would have loved to have had last year and lets not forget they instigated team orders to ensure the one two finish at Monza last year. He’s been treated fairly throughout and delivered very little in return compared to expectations.

      3. I wouldn’t be so willing to assume Alpine wants him, to be honest. Never underestimate the prideful nature of the French. Daniel leaving them after taking a lot of money for the drive after just two seasons (technically one season, given how early he announced it), it might just get in the way of them ever seriously considering him.

    2. Aussie who is rumored to be replaced by aussie who has an aussie manager and this all is happening around aussie team.

      In all seriousness they have their reasons to drop him but it will be a tough one.

      1. Bruce Mclaren was a kiwi

      2. @qeki @geofnudge
        Mclaren is a British team & car manufacturer despite its founder being a Kiwi, but fitting wording.

      3. McLaren is not an Aussie team.

        McLaren is a British team, founded by a Kiwi, as geofnudge says.

        1. McLaren is a British team, founded by a Kiwi, owned by Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund.

      4. New Zealand is only about 4000 km away from Australia. Easy mistake to make, mate!

        1. Except Sydney to Auckland is only about 2000km.

          1. @mrfill That is true. I was referring to the distance between the geographical centers of both countries.

    3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      14th August 2022, 13:26

      Return On Investment. If DR were being paid a 1/4 of what Lando is then he would be value for money. IMO.

      With no idea what Danny does between GPs to get better I can only ask is he actively trying to adapt to the car or is he waiting for McLaren to alter the car for him?

      I have read and been in some comment threads that suggest the fault lies with the team and they ought to be doing more based on their position in the WCC but then if Danny is not an adaptable driver is he real championship material?

      1. from what i hear, mostly the latter. He is well known not to value simulator work as much as most others, and i did hear rumour from renault camp saying such when he left. Might just have been sour grapes, but given from what i hear he hasnt been as regular visitor to Woking as Lando has been

      2. Very good point indeed. Daniel is a great driver as he has proved in the past. So where do things go wrong. Probably just a lot of small things all adding up instead of one big issue – maybe they are looking for that one big issue and not are not seeing the bigger picture. Guess switching teams or maybe a sabbatical wouldn’t do Daniel any harm.

    4. Yes.

      There’s no justifying his performances for a driver being paid to do this.

    5. I really like Daniel; he seems to be a genuinely good bloke and whilst I’ve never thought of him as an out-and-out speed demon, in previous seasons he has been an excellent racer and he pulled off one of the best/most memorable overtaking manoeuvres (China 2018 on Bottas) I’ve ever seen in F1 (been watching since 1996).

      So I had high hopes for him moving to McLaren but for whatever reason he just hasn’t clicked there. Unless something miraculous happens in the second half of the season, I think it would be best for both team and driver if they parted ways.

      1. I don’t know. Daniel’s supposedly best overtakes always looked scripted to me.

        You cannot lunge from several car lengths behind into a breaking zone and make it stick without at least the other driver being asleep at the wheel, if not fully cooperating.

        1. You can in a breaking zone, but not in a braking zone ;-)

        2. José Lopes da Silva
          14th August 2022, 17:07

          I think Bottas was always the victim of those overtakes…

    6. Tough to say but yes Ricciardo has not been able to get the results that his younger less experienced teammate has.

    7. This whole Piastri/Alpine mess is a terrible business move for Mclaren. And even worse for Piastri.
      McLaren will have to pay Riccardo off to get rid of him before 2023, at the tune of 20m + a salary for Piastry.
      A number of drivers have contracts running to the end of 2023 (Perez, Hamilton, Russell and others lower down the grid) which is the time to swap drivers if anyone is going to move.
      McLaren are better off working with Riccardo for another season, negotiate additional performance clauses based on performance for the remainder of the deal to try and get the most of him and stay out of the Piastri mess.
      Given how quick Piastry was to shaft Alpine if a vacancy at Mercedes presents itself next year, he will probably do the same to McLaren.
      And as for Piastri what a terrible move. Alpine is ahead of McLaren in the championship, a very competitive drive for most drivers on the grid, let alone a rookie. So he burns bridges at Alpine to go to McLaren, who by the way, officially really don’t have room for another driver in 23. Nobody wins in this mess imo.

      1. *edit: Perez is contracted to 2024.

      2. McLaren will have to pay Riccardo off to get rid of him before 2023, at the tune of 20m + a salary for Piastry.
        […]
        McLaren are better off working with Riccardo for another season

        Daniel’s millions are already sunk costs and therefore irrelevant.

        The question is will Oscar earn enough extra points compared to Daniel to cover his salary (probably rather modest for his rookie season given the situation) and any non-tangibles stemming from dropping an underperforming driver with a contract.

        And I would say it’s worth the gamble, given how Daniel has performed at McLaren.

        1. Finally, someone recognized the concept of “sunk costs”. 100% agreement.
          McLaren can take on Piastri and do it for cheap. The salary coverage for Ricciardo is currently sunk, but no doubt could be renegotiated should he want to drive for another team. All about negotiation.
          Mclaren can prevent this or capitalize on the arrangement. Common in Baseball NFL as a means of reducing the contract costs for someon you decide you don’t nee, but are tied to.
          If there is no drive available for DR in 2023, then he will be well paid to lie on a beach.
          Come 2024, McLaren will have spent roughly the same (+/- a million or so) but have a 2nd year “star” on board.
          My bet, we will see DR on track in 23, with a different team. Mais oui.
          What still baffles me is McLaren’s reluctance to fix a car that even Norris indicated is difficult to drive and not to his preference. Apparently characteristics that carried over from 2020 and 2021. Will Piastri do any better …. wait and see.

          1. @rekibsn and @proesterchen
            I think you are both misunderstanding the concept of “sunk costs”, I appreciate you think that taking a gamble on a rookie is the right thing to do, I fundamentally disagree with that idea.

            1. I think you are both misunderstanding the concept of “sunk costs”

              How?

              Whatever Daniel is owed for the remainder of his contract was agreed to upon signing his contract several years ago.

              Yes, it’s a gamble replacing him, Oscar could be a dud. That is always an option. You could find yourself in Abu Dhabi 2023 out a stipend and short all the points Daniel would’ve collected in the 2023 McLaren.^

              All things considered, the break-even point for the driver change could be in the 40-45% of Lando’s points haul range, with limited financial downside if Oscar underperforms that. (and of course financial upside if he outperforms that goal)

    8. It’s odd between racing fans and journalist, what “momentum” various F1 drivers are said to have.

      Mick is praised, and by many argued to stay at Haas. But he is outqualified 11-2 by his team-mate, as is Riccardo. And even though Mich has fineshed some races ahead of KMAG, none of these has been on merrit. It has been when KMAG have had issues. Engine not been able to run in race-trim, black/orange flags, and more.
      Still Mick has the momentum of e.g. “he always have a slow first year/period”, now he has his first points, etc.

      Whereas Riccardo has a long list of actual great performances.

      1) McLaren should look into what is the actual real reason behind the low performance by Riccardo. Is it the cars main character. Is it how team work together. Should he have differenct coaches, etc., etc.

      2) Having Norris, as young as he still is, as a team-leader, and an even younger other driver, is quite contrary to what McLaren have done through times, and what is usually best for a top-tier team. From 2019, since Alonso left, they have had a young team pairing, where Riccardo actually brought more experience. And even though Riccardos experience admittedly have not paid divident yet, Mclaren is a team who through the years have succeeded with senior drivers.

      Well, in many, many of the past years they have had world champions:
      Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Hakkinen, Nigel Mansell, Prost, Mansell, Senna, Prost, Keke Rosberg, Lauda, hunt, Fittipladi, Hulme, Scheckter
      An impressive list, one must say.

      If they want to get back in the top mix, i don’t think they should go all young, in their driver lineup.

      1. 1) you have reason to think they already havn’t?
        2) Norris stepped up to the plate as de facto team leader early into last year .. and he has done it brilliantly. The gaming kid from the lock down days is long gone. He knows how to talk to people around him, motivate them and develop a real team spirit.

        1. He never stopped playing btw but that experience and maturing did wonders and he push the team to higher performance. But he also hard with his remarks on the car.

      2. If there is one thing to conclude about what is going on at Mclaren, it is that Lando Norris is developing into champion material right on schedule. Onward and upward.

        1. Yes. Lando does very good.

          And seeing Alonso moving to Alpine can be used to argue against myself in above post.
          Having senior experience can be too senior. I’m quite sure Alonso won’t move Aston Martin further up the grid, given his ability to render success in his second stint with Renault, with Ferrari, with Mclaren second stint, and with Alpine. …

    9. It’s very sad the McLaren/Ricardo partnership has not gone well. I was very much looking forward to it

      Truth is, the tie-up is not doing either of them any favour

      The silence from both suggests that contrary to popular opinion, there is a mural desire for both parties to separate, amicably

      I hope Dan ends up back in Alpine

      1. True.. I was really looking forward to Ricciardo and Norris making Mclaren regular contenders for wins. At least, Dan managed to break their win duck. That was his only silver lining on the darkest cloud I’ve ever seen. Hope he finds another team and regains some of that old form.. he was always exciting to watch when he was at his best.

        But yeah.. Mclaren need to dump his asap.

    10. They would absolutely be right to drop Ricciardo. While you’re almost never going to get a 50/50 split in points between teammates, anything above 60% at one side of the garage starts to become awkward, 70% is a serious problem. As the overview earlier this week showed, McLaren is currently at 80%.

      Factor in that Ricciardo probably gets paid more, hasn’t shown meaningful improvement in 35 Grand Prix at the team, and the case for keeping him around becomes rather weak. Ricciardo’s time as a young talent with plenty of time to improve are also long gone. He has driven over 220 Grand Prix, is in his 12th season, and is more likely to be in the last two or three years of his career than at the start of a large new campaign to help bring a midfield team to contention.

      As a spectator, I’d much rather see him in Indycar for 2023 than languish two more years at the back of the grid. Whatever the reason for his current problems and lack of pace, when he is on it he is often good fun to watch race.

    11. I went for ‘neither agree nor disagree’ because I found choosing slightly difficult.
      Both ‘For’ & ‘Against’ have validities.

    12. Just imagine you’re playing F1 Manager (coming soon) and one of your drivers – highly rated and well-paid – just doesn’t deliver. From a team boss perspective it’s quite easy to decide. It doesn’t pay off to continue, two years is enough. Sometimes they even seem to dislike each other, there’s no Carlando chemistry between them (I know it’s not necessary but still… everybody expected them to be the most funny pair in the paddock)

    13. Probably. It’s painfully clear to anyone with even a passing interest in F1 that Ricciardo-McLaren isn’t working as a pairing, and I really don’t see anything to suggest that’s likely to change next year. I don’t think he’s lost it as a driver, but he does seem to have lost it as a McLaren driver.

    14. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      14th August 2022, 17:39

      Plenty has been written that the fastest cars are the unstable ones that oversteer. There are degrees of oversteer to the point of undriveable but the McLaren in Lando’s hands is doing rather well. If that doesn’t suit DR then that is not the fault of the team.

      I have thought DR’s best hope would be to scrap his holiday and really get to understand how Lando drives the car and just give it a try in the simulator. But maybe the point of no return was crossed some races ago.

      1. Well said!

      2. Problem is he doesn’t believe in simulators as he find that nerdy …. He seems to forget that Nerds rule the world….

        But it’s very simple he has to beat Norris all the last 9 races which i expect he will fail….

      3. @andyfromsandy the feedback about the more recent McLaren cars is pretty much the polar opposite – rather than being unstable and oversteering, Norris’s comments have been that the more recent cars have had a quite pronounced understeer bias and required an unorthodox braking and steering input style to make the front end turn in.

        When you compare onboard and telemetry traces between the two drivers, it is apparent that Ricciardo’s issues aren’t due to the car oversteering – it’s been on corner entry and the mid-corner phase, where the front end of the car has tended to wash wide using Ricciardo’s driving style.

        Norris has been able to compensate to some extent with the way that he’s changed how he brakes and turns the car into the corner – it was in part, though, why the early season brake issues did hit Norris fairly noticeably though, because he was also rather dependent on a rather aggressive braking style to turn the car in that wasn’t possible with those early season brake problems. It is potentially also linked to slightly higher than desirable tyre wear rates on the current McLaren’s, as the style that Norris is adopting to try and maximise the performance can induce increased tyre scrub rates (which may help over a single lap, but is more detrimental over a longer stint – in part explaining why Norris can sometimes star in qualifying, but his race pace is not so good by comparison).

        As for saying that Ricciardo should ‘scrap his holiday and get in the simulator’ – you seem to have forgotten about the mandatory factory shutdowns over the summer. Simulator testing is amongst the list of activities which is not allowed during the shutdown period – that’s why he’s going on holiday now.

    15. No doubt! But now I think he should be trying to get out from McLaren as soon as possible too because he’s too far behind NOR and it’s not a good thing for anybody…. unless his paycheck is so big that it’s worth continuing. He should go back to Alpine if possible.

    16. Went for neither agree or disagree. It does look bad for DR in the points table but I suspect a lot of it is down to Norris being really good. He impressed in F2 in what was one of the most competitive grids seen in a very long time. His drive with Alonso at Daytona before starting F1 had people raving about the unknown rookie. He showed outstanding pace in testing a dog of a Mclaren in his year as reserve driver and has consistently upped his game since being promoted to the F1 team, Matching a much under rated Sainz in his first year.

      I also think that the new generation of drivers who do a lot of Sim racing have proven to be extremely adaptable drivers. Driving many different categories of car to a very high level in the online world which helps when adapting to difficult cars in the real F1 world. Something which many of the more traditional drivers struggle with.

    17. … rumours and reports indicate that McLaren are now actively looking to escape from their contractual commitment with Ricciardo for 2023 …

      My understanding on F1 driver contracts is amongst the terms and conditions are clauses stating the driver’s minimum performance standards, and failure to meet those standards gives the team the right to terminate the contract, presumably with some sort of token payout. When I see a comment like the above it suggests to me Daniel has already met the minimum performance standards, but for some reason the team has changed their mind about continuing their contract with the driver. Hence the team is in the position of not having the automatic right to terminate the contract. It may be they have raised their expectations on what the minimum performance standards are, which I concede is their right, but expectations often change, which is why they were put into his employment contract. McLaren have a contract with Daniel and they should try to stick to it.

    18. Yes, Ricciardo should be dropped.
      I was very supportive of RIC moving to McLaren and I like him; I thought it was a perfect move for both sides to do better but now after many races and great opportunities to do well; RIC has proven he’s not doing well nor see any reasons why he will do any better in the future at McLaren. RIC staying at McLaren is bad for both parties but more for McLaren.

      Ricciardo is hurting his team (McLaren) by staying there, he’s obviously being out driven by his teammate so he has less of a leg to stand on about his right to stay there on merit (not words on a contract). Creating an ugly fight to stay on the team while performing badly will not reflect kindly on his legacy and his Branding.

      What will be available to him after he retires will depend a lot on how he handles this.

    19. Let’s be clear: McLaren are a grubby team. They nearly destroyed Alonso’s career and it looks like they will destroy Riccardo’s career. The idea that Riccardo just forgot how to drive an F1 car is crazy.

      1. Alonso didn’t need any help in sabotaging his own (later) career. Many of his career moves could be seen as dispicable, and I am actually a fan of the man when he’s behind the wheel. Maybe Honda messed up?
        Also, Norris seems to be thriving at Mclaren. Maybe Ric just can’t grow in that soil?

      2. @adrian Perfect, then he should leave and not stay at McLaren; it sounds like it would be a win-win situation.

        1. @redpill I agree. I don’t see any winners in the current situation. McLaren is not looking good, Daniel sure isn’t, and I suspect even Lando’s a chievements may not be fully appreciated,as well he only had a “Landau” as a teammate to beat. Fresh start for Dan ,let McLaren do their thing their way,and reevaluate next season.

      3. Alonso destroyed his own career, I thought McLaren were stupid to invite him back after 2007 to be honest.

    20. Seems really overwhelming, 3\4 think ricciardo should be dropped or are unsure, and coincidentally 3\4 is also the share of points norris got this season!

    21. If I was at Alpine, I wouldn’t take him back considering the way he left.

      1. Ahh!!! but one Cyril A. + others in management are no longer there.

    22. With these long seasons, I think yes. 1 and a half seasons of underperforming is not on. Same goes for latiffi and Shumchaner jr. But of those 3 I think only Ricciardo deserves to stay in F1.

    23. This is wrong in my opinion. He is a good racer and did well in HRT and Redbull. In the TorroRosso He was at the same level as Vergne and he did ok against Max but « generation » wise he is what? 5 years younger than Vettel. He is part of that generation, part of the old guard his last 4 seasons have been average at the least

      1. I meant to say he did ok against Verstappen at Redbull in case it’s misread as him doing so at Torrorosso.
        @keithcollantine can something be done about the placement of report comment button? I just reported my own comment, the button shouldn’t be so close to the reply option

    24. If it were an option I’d sack him this year, he’s been awful. He’s got the second half of the year though to try and win himself another seat elsewhere. Not many drivers would get to underperform for 2 years like he has and not get called out. The team have done well to keep any criticism to a minimum and try and focus on getting some sort of performance out of him.

    25. The question is would McLaren be right to drop Daniel for 2023. I guess the question for them is do they think he can adapt to the car, or they can make changes to it, without effecting Lando’s performances. Then is a rookie replacement going to do any better in 2023, looking at this one year in isolation.

      My gut instinct says that they have a contract and they should keep Daniel on until the end of it. But I can quite see there is an argument for them to encourage him to leave.

      None of us know what is going on behind the scenes. I think if Daniel could obtain an opening for himself at another team e.g. Alpine, then this would be the best outcome for everyone. I don’t think they should just drop him and leave him with the pay-off, but without a drive in 2023. Assuming he wants to race next year.

    26. I’m a huge Daniel fan… but this just isn’t working out. For the sake of both him and McLaren, he needs to move on.
      I don’t know what isn’t gelling between them, but enough is enough.

    27. It really sucks because as an Australian, I am a huge fan of Ricciardo. But I’ve been a McLaren fan for almost 30 years and as much as I like Ricciardo, the team comes first. I have been getting increasingly frustrated with him. McLaren should have been closer for 3rd last year, and we should be well ahead of Alpine this year, but in both cases, Ricciardo’s performances is what has let us down. I wish he would come good, but I no longer have faith that he can. It is time for him to move on.

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