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Daniel Ricciardo to leave McLaren after contract is terminated early

Daniel Ricciardo will leave McLaren F1 at the end of the season after the Formula One team announced they had terminated his contract early, bringing an end to speculation over the Australian’s future and paving the way for the highly-rated Oscar Piastri to be offered a seat for 2023.

Despite the eight-time grand prix winner Ricciardo declaring only last month that he was committed to seeing out his contract amid questions over his place with the team, McLaren have moved to pay out the final year of the Australian’s contract.

Although the 33-year-old ended McLaren’s long wait for a grand prix victory at Monza last season, Ricciardo struggled to live up to expectations following his move from Renault and was consistently outperformed by his team-mate Lando Norris. Ricciardo sits 12th in the championship standings with nine races to go this season, which will be his final appearances with the team.

McLaren said in a statement that they will announce their plans for next season in due course but are expected to make a formal move for last season’s Formula 2 champion Piastri, with the 21-year-old turning down an offer from Alpine last month in order to keep his options open, including this potential availability of the 33-year-old Ricciardo’s seat at McLaren.

Ricciardo said in a video on social media that he still has the “hunger” to race in Formula One but did not announce his next steps.

McLaren team principal Andreas Siedl acknowledged the “challenges” both the team and Ricciardo faced across the last couple of seasons, particularly after the changes to racing regulations at the start of this campaign.

“I would like to thank Daniel for his dedication and contribution over the last two seasons so far,” Siedl said. “Despite the shared challenges, he has always turned up with a fighting spirit and positivity and helped the entire team to always keep pushing forward.

“We will never forget that memorable race win in Monza which was a great boost for the whole team.”

Ricciardo said in a statement: ““It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren family for the last two seasons but following several months of discussions with [McLaren CEO] Zak [Brown] and Andreas we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season.

“I’ll be announcing my own future plans in due course but regardless of what this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza, last season.”

Xural.com

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