Ricciardo Insists He’s ‘Committed to McLaren F1’ Through Next Year
The Australian’s future at the British F1 team has been questionable for some time now.
Daniel Ricciardo's future at the McLaren Formula 1 team has been unsure for most of the current racing season. A series of ups and downs—but mostly downs—have cast a large shadow over his racing seat, which many reports claim will be up for grabs at the end of the year. Not according to the Australian, however, who took to his Instagram account Wednesday morning to say that he remains "committed to McLaren" until the end of 2023.
"There have been a lot of rumors around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me," said Ricciardo's Instagram story. "I am committed to McLaren until the end of next year and am not walking away from the sport. Appreciate it hasn't always been easy, but who wants easy! I'm working my ass off with the team to make improvements and get the car right and back to the front where it belongs. I still want this more than ever. See you in Le Castellet."
Ricciardo's statement comes after an okay performance at the last round in Austria, where he managed to score two world championship points. The ninth-place finish also awarded the charismatic Australian only his third top-10 finish in 11 races so far this year. His teammate, Lando Norris, has managed eight top-10 finishes in as many races, including one podium finish.
Rumors about the F1 veteran have swirled the paddock for some time now, but they peaked in June when team boss Zak Brown claimed on live TV that, "so far, [Ricciardo] hadn't lived up to the expectations for the partnership." As our own Hazel Southwell explained, Brown's comments were accurate to a certain extent.
There are 11 races left in the season, meaning the F1 Circus has reached its halfway point for the year. Improvements in Ricciardo's performance through the second half will be vital, especially as teams now claim to have a bit more cash for car developments following the budget cap increase last week.
Of course, it must be said that not everything is in the Australian's hands, as even Norris has struggled with the McLaren's performance over the last few races. The young Brit managed to finish in 9, 15, 6, and 7th place over the last four races; a stark difference from earlier in the season when top five and top six finishes appeared to be the norm for the Papaya Orange squad.
The next stop on the calendar is the French Grand Prix, which will take place on July 24. In 2021, Ricciardo managed to finish sixth while Norris came in fifth. The duo can only hope for a similar finish this time around.
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