Daniel Ricciardo has a year and a half left of his contract with McLaren. Unfortunately things haven’t gone especially well since the popular Aussie turned up in Woking in 2021, leading to speculation that Ricciardo may not see out the entirety of his term. On Wednesday, he took to social media to reaffirm to everyone that he’s not going anywhere before his time is up:
There have been a lot of rumours around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me. 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 it 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.
So far this season, Ricciardo has out-finished his teammate Lando Norris four times over 11 races. But even that doesn’t present the full picture, because Norris has consistently placed in the points — on eight occasions in 2022 compared to Ricciardo’s three. As it stands now, Norris has 64 points on the campaign; Ricciardo has 17.
Part of the uncertainty over Ricciardo’s position in the team is also down to the fact that McLaren has a few options for talent to call upon if and when it decides to replace him. IndyCar phenoms Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward have now both tested on McLaren F1 chassis, and are favorites to make the move. Additionally, the fresh drama over reigning IndyCar champ Alex Palou’s whereabouts next season and the potential he could wind up at Arrow McLaren SP — the company’s IndyCar operation — has thrown that name into the ring as well.
If and when Ricciardo does bid F1 farewell, he seems to be running out of options as for where to go next. He’s indicated he doesn’t feel ready for a full NASCAR bid, IndyCar can’t afford him and Formula E’s stock is falling. But that’s a problem for another day, because Ricciardo appears committed to making this work for as long as he’s in a position to try.