Daniel Ricciardo came to McLaren with great expectations, but he will end up going through the back door.
The Australian driver ultimately failed to deliver the results expected of him when he signed a contract with the British team and joined from Renault in early 2021 and McLaren’s patience is now at an end.
They officially announced on Wednesday, a year earlier, that they were separating, as both Ricciardo and the team confirmed their partnership will end after the current season.
Assuming there are no surprises in the second half of the year, Ricciardo’s legacy with McLaren will likely be reminders of his 2021 Italian Grand Prix triumph.
This is his only podium finish with the team to date. Overall, he has won 32 during his career while his tally stands at eight.
MORE: Daniel Ricciardo is reportedly being chased by a new Formula One team
Why is Daniel Ricciardo leaving McLaren?
Ricciardo confirmed the long-hyped news of his departure from McLaren in a statement and posted 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 part ways at the end of this season “said the Australian.
“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 put into McLaren, particularly winning at Monza last season .
“I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren, both on track and [at the team’s base] in Woking and I will be giving 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 a part of a sport I love so much and I’m excited for what’s to come.”
– Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) August 24, 2022
How long has Daniel Ricciardo been under contract with McLaren?
Ricciardo joined McLaren in early 2021 and has had three seasons in a tie. However, due to poor results, both parties have now decided to 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 multiple interested parties.
Who is Daniel Ricciardo driving for in 2023, will he stay in Formula 1?
There are reportedly several teams interested in keeping Ricciardo in Formula 1. Of the 10 teams competing in 2023, six have a vacancy. These are McLaren, Alpine, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas.
Alpine and Haas are said to have shown an interest in the 33-year-old, who has been in the sport since 2011.
According to ESPN, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner contacted Ricciardo to discuss his future during the midseason. He appears to be an alternative should Mick Schumacher not renew, although the veteran driver’s hefty salary of around $20m appears to be a stumbling block.
Alpine, who lost Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and also Oscar Piastri (he refused to sign with the French team and will most likely move to McLaren), has a spot and could be a good fit given Ricciardo’s time with the team earlier they were in 2020 than known to Renault.
While his departure caused some resentment in Renault’s corridors of power at the time, he would likely still open the door for himself.
The Australian secured two podium finishes that year: He finished third in the German Grand Prix and in the Italian Grand Prix. Overall, he contested 38 races with Renault and collected 173 points.
However, Ricciardo hasn’t always made good decisions in his career, especially when he left Red Bull. So it wouldn’t be surprising if he went down the wrong path.
That would most likely be a move to Haas.
AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo and Williams, the other options, don’t seem too keen on signing him. A duo alongside Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri could prove interesting, although unlikely in 2023.
There are also options for Ricciardo outside of F1.
Earlier this year, the Herald Sun reported that the 33-year-old had received a permanent invitation from Supercars, Australia’s premier racing championship.
Ricciardo has previously expressed his desire to compete in the famous Supercars Bathurst 1000 event, with a move to the touring car series sure to please the Australian motorsport community.
A move to the United States to compete there at NASCAR or Indycar cannot be ruled out either.
Notably, one of Ricciardo’s racing heroes is former NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Sr., with the Australian driving his 1984 Chevrolet last year.