SportF1McLaren confident of being able to replace Ricciardo as...

McLaren confident of being able to replace Ricciardo as planned

The Woking outfit announced on Wednesday that it would part ways with Ricciardo at the end of the season, following a disappointing run since joining forces in early 2021.

Although Daniel Ricciardo had one more year left at McLaren, the team decided to finish as soon as possible after the lack of results, and the termination of the Australian’s contract was agreed for the end of 2022.

McLaren has its sights set on signing young star Piastri as Lando Norris’ team-mate next year, but the youngster is stuck in a contract dispute with the Alpine outfit.

Alpine believes they have a contract in place for Piastri, who is their reserve driver, to race for them next season. However, Piastri has made it clear that he has not signed anything and that he will not drive for that team in 2023, since he has an agreement with McLaren.

Both Alpine and McLaren insist their agreements are valid, so it looks like the matter will go to F1’s Contract Recognition Board .

McLaren has not officially announced its plans for Piastri, and wanted to prioritize Ricciardo’s departure to give him time to secure a place with another team for 2023.

But speaking to media outlets including on Wednesday, McLaren F1 chief executive Zak Brown made it clear the team was sure of what it was going to do.

“Obviously we are very confident in our future, which we will announce in due course,” Brown said.

“We want to focus on racing this weekend and the rest of the year, so it seemed important to us to make the announcement this Wednesday.”

“We have a very nice and friendly relationship with Daniel, obviously it’s disappointing to come to an end like this, but we’re left with things like Monza [Ricciardo’s victory in Italy, in 2021] which, personally, was the most exciting moment of my whole stage at McLaren, being able to be on the podium with Daniel and Lando”.

“So yes, it’s a disappointing result, but we’re excited about the balance of the year, as is Daniel, and we’ll announce our future in due course.”

Oscar Piastri, Alpine reserve driver

Oscar Piastri, reserva de Alpine driver

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl felt it was premature to speak of any risk in betting on a rookie like Oscar Piastri over an experienced driver like Ricciardo.

“To be honest, I have no interest in getting into that comparison right now,” he said. “Today is about Daniel, and all weekend at Spa, it will be about Daniel.”

“We want to move forward. Daniel also wants to move forward on the issue that we announced today. And as for the future, that’s something we’ll talk about later.”

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