Andreas Seidl reveals ’emotional’ Daniel Ricciardo barbeque

Daniel Ricciardo departed McLaren after reaching Q3 and scoring points during his final grand prix weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Daniel Ricciardo’s career has not panned out the way that he would have liked since he made the bold decision to leave Red Bull in 2019.

The ‘Honey Badger’ spent two seasons at Renault before joining McLaren in his search for Formula 1 glory, not happy to be treated as a second driver at Red Bull.

The 33-year-old secured a stunning win in Monza last season, but this proved to be a false dawn for the Australian who has failed to impress since, leading to McLaren deciding to terminate his contract at the end of the 2022 season.

Ricciardo will be replaced by young Oscar Piastri next year, while the 33-year-old will spend a year serving as Red Bull’s third driver while he plots his return to the grid.

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Despite a below par season for Ricciardo, he managed to go out on a high in Abu Dhabi, reaching Q3 and finishing the race in ninth, even after having to start further down the grid after a penalty from his collision with Kevin Magnussen in Brazil.

Team principal Andreas Seidl has said that he is happy to have said goodbye to the Australian on such a high, rather than Ricciardo bowing out with a whimper.

“I think we have finished our project together on the best possible high, which was the aim after all of the announcements of the summer break,” he claimed.

“We made sure as a team over the weekend, together with Lando and Daniel, that we kept the focus on trying to pull off the best possible result.”

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Ricciardo has been a much loved figure at McLaren despite his poor performances and Seidl has said it was emotional to have to bid farewell to the Australian fan favourite.

“Of course the entire weekend, including the farewell celebration that we had back home at the factory, the farewell also we had when we did the team barbecue on Thursday night and including the three days here knowing that whatever we did, it was the last time we would do it together with Daniel, was emotional,” said the German.

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“But of course, especially on Sunday when Daniel left the garage for the last time to go to the grid and also when I said to have a good race for the last time on the grid, it was emotional.”

The strong result for Ricciardo was unfortunately not enough for McLaren to overtake Alpine in the constructors’ championship, despite Fernando Alonso having to retire from the race, however the Australian will be content knowing he left the team after a good result.

Next for Ricciardo is a spell as a third driver at Red Bull, as he bides his time waiting for an opportunity to arise to race once again at a top team.