Daniel Ricciardo continued his struggling season in Monaco as he could only manage to finish 13th on Sunday while his younger teammate Lando Norris secured the 6th position. The McLaren driver had a rough weekend as he crashed during the practice session on Friday and could only manage to quality P14 on the grid during Saturday’s qualifying. He was outperformed by Norris yet again despite the 22-year-old suffering from tonsillitis.
After failing to secure points once again in Monaco, there have been speculations about Ricciardo’s future at McLaren. Rumors suggest that the racing team might let go of the Australian driver before the contract ends at the end of 2023. And it looks like the pressure to perform is building up on Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren boss Zak Brown requested Ricciardo last week to lift his performance and inspire the team. The team principal pointed out that Mclaren has a get-out clause in Daniel’s contract, which could be accessed if the Australian continues to disappoint.
Recently, former F1 world champ Jacques Villeneuve has claimed that Ricciardo’s time will McLaren is coming to a close after another disappointment in Monaco. The 51-year-old said that Monaco was the final straw. McLaren would look to let go of Daniel after troubles during the last and the current season. The Canadian F1 star believes that Zak Brown is talking about the clauses because they have already made the decision. They are looking to put pressure on the driver and prepare the media for the upcoming decision.
Moreover, Jacques pointed out that Ricciardo is a highly-paid driver, costing the team a lot of money. But, his lack of points and speed is hindering the team’s progress and the car’s development. Hence, Villeneuve thinks that it would be cheaper for McLaren to continue paying Daniel to let him sit at home and replace the Aussie with another driver. In addition, the Canadian said, “It’s a harsh reality, but that’s Formula 1.”
Ralf Schumacher Also Believes Ricciardo’s Time At McLaren Is Over
The seven-time world champ Micheal Schumacher‘s brother Ralf revealed that he would not be surprised if McLaren gave up on Daniel with a year left on his contract. The F1 expert talked about the rumors and statements in the team, which are getting louder with each failure. Moreover, Ralf mentioned that Daniel Ricciardo is too far away from his teammate Lando Norris. Thus, Schumacher was curious about Ricciardo’s future and thought it would be quite difficult for him.
Further, the Australian driver posted a message on Instagram after the race in Monaco. The message read, “Appreciate the fans, the messages and all the love. Not the Monaco I hoped. But honey badger don’t quit.”
The Mclaren driver signed a three-year deal with the racing team. He arrived at McLaren after leaving Renault at the end of the 2020 season. However, the West Australian may not be present to see out his final year if his performance continues to dip. Ricciardo had trouble adjusting to the new car in 2021. He could only finish eighth in the drivers’ rankings, two positions below Norris.
Unfortunately, Daniel’s performance has not seemed to improve in 2022. His best performance came during his home race in Melbourne, where he finished sixth. In Spain, Daniel Ricciardo finished 12th after dropping on the grid from a ninth spot. He has acquired only 11 points so far and is in the 11th spot in the drivers’ championship. Meanwhile, Norris is in seventh currently, with a podium finish under his belt. The Australian will hope to turn his disappointing season around during the upcoming Azerbaijan GP on June 12.