Following a difficult start to the season with McLaren , Daniel Ricciardo ‘s future in F1 has been the subject of significant speculation in recent weeks.
The Aussie is doing his best to match the performance of his team-mate, Lando Norris , scoring 19 of McLaren’s 89 points so far this season and finishing four top-ten finishes, most recently in the past Sunday at Paul Ricard.
Ricciardo is under contract with McLaren until the end of the 2023 season, but comments made last May by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown about the deal could have paved the way for a breakup.
However, last week Ricciardo took to social media to issue a statement reaffirming his commitment to racing for McLaren next season.
Asked about Ricciardo’s message, Seidl , McLaren’s F1 boss, assured that his remarks were no surprise.
“From our point of view, there was never any speculation about it, said Seidl. “For our part, we have made it clear that we have a contract in place and that our only goal is, together with Daniel, to find those last percentages in terms of performance. “.
“That is what we are focusing on. The statement was not a surprise, it was just confirmation of where we are, which is in line with what we have been saying these last few months. So there are no surprises.”
Among the drivers who have been linked to his seat in recent months are the names of IndCar drivers Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward.
Herta completed a two-day test at Portimao earlier this month, as part of a Woking team program that also included F2 driver Jehan Daruvala and McLaren development driver Will Stevens .
Seidl said the main goal of that program was to see who could meet the requirement to drive this season in one of two sessions in which each team must field a rookie driver.
“In order to comply with the regulations, you have to find the right guys, and you also have to give them the opportunity to be well prepared, to make sure that they can really show what they are capable of,” Seidl said.
“The interest from my side is also very high, to make sure that they are well prepared, because they go around the circuits with our racing cars, with our racing engines, with our racing gearboxes. And you don’t want to have any surprises. That is the process we are in,” he explained.
“The guys that we have selected so far I would say are interesting talents. They have shown in different categories, and also in Indy, that they can put in great performances. That is why we are interested in seeing what they can do in a Formula 1 car as well.” Andreas concluded.
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