McLaren has informed Daniel Ricciardo that it intends to replace him with Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri next season, a source close to the Australian driver has confirmed to ESPN.
ESPN understands that Ricciardo was informed of his decision by team boss Andreas Seidl after the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday evening and that he is now in discussions with the team regarding a financial settlement to be able to leave his contract a year sooner than it is due to expire in 2023.
It has been reported that multiple sources have told ESPN McLaren and Piastri have signed a deal for next year, and Alpine’s appeal to the FIA contract recognition board would be the only thing stopping him from driving there next year.
On Tuesday, Alpine announced that Piastri would replace Fernando Alonso on the French team next season. However, Piastri tweeted a few hours later that he would not be racing for Alpine next season.
Oscar Piastri Will Replace Daniel Ricciardo At Mclaren, According To Daniel Ricciardo
In the event that McLaren’s contract with Piastri is upheld, Ricciardo now seems likely to take the Alpine seat his Australian teammate did not want for the 2023 season, which would mean a smaller pay-out than if he sat out for the full season.
As we all know, Ricciardo raced for Alpine when it was called Renault in 2019 and 2020, and the management team has completely changed since he left Alpine for McLaren a couple of years ago.
Despite the fact that he was one of the best performers on the grid in 2020, there is a feeling in the Formula One paddock that he needs a change of scenery in order to return to his former form.
It was recently reported that the new Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer would not have any objections to Ricciardo returning to the team in the near future.
Moving to the French team would also come with the advantage of being able to race McLaren on the track next season, as the two teams have fought for fourth place in this year’s championship, and are likely to be in a similar position next year as well.
In addition to Ricciardo replacing Mick Schumacher at Haas, there is also the possibility that Ferrari could have the final say over that seat at the American team, although it is believed that Ferrari holds the final say in the matter.
It has been reported on Racer.com that McLaren is delaying its official announcement of Piastri until Ricciardo can find himself a drive elsewhere on next year’s grid in the meantime.
This Piastri coup represents a great moment for McLaren, but it is also an embarrassment for Alpine, as they look set to lose a two-time world champion and a potential future world champion to rival teams in a matter of 72 hours.
It is expected that Piastri, 21, will join Lando Norris, 22, in his rookie year in Formula 1 and the pair will be one of the strongest candidates for the best young driver pairing on the grid.