When McLaren first announced in 2020 that Daniel Ricciardo would be joining them to fill the seat
that would be vacated by Carlos Sainz Jnr for 2021, it seemed like the perfect match.
McLaren were gaining an established grand prix winner with nine-and-a-half seasons of experience
who had brought Renault back onto the podium multiple times during 2020. Alongside the highly promising talent
Lando Norris, it would be hard to blame McLaren CEO Zak Brown and team principal Andreas
Seidl for feeling very encouraged for the team’s future
But whatever McLaren, Ricciardo or the team’s legions of fans expected from having the Australian join the team
, it would not have been a pattern of consistently underwhelming results and a total points difference of 102
between Norris and Ricciardo scored over 35 races together so far.
With Formula 1 resting over the summer, rumours and reports indicate that McLaren are now actively
looking to escape from their contractual commitment with Ricciardo for 2023 – with Oscar Piastri’s
dispute with Alpine not unrelated to the situation at McLaren.
But would McLaren be correct to drop Ricciardo – one of the most successful drivers
of his generation – just half way through their three season agreement with him?