Carlos Sainz speaks out on Daniel Ricciardo being sacked by McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo is set to become Mercedes' new reserve driver for 2023, following the departure of Nyck de Vries.

Following a season full of criticism and people labelling him as Ferrari’s number two driver, Carlos Sainz has admitted that he’s “judged” by his last race, rather than his best moments.

Sainz’s comments come as a result of Daniel Ricciardo being dropped by McLaren for 2023, with the Australian looking set to be Mercedes’ reserve driver next season.

It does seem somewhat bonkers that one of the most successful drivers from the last 10 years of the championship has fallen off so dramatically, following a second consecutive season in Lando Norris’ shadow.

Ricciardo’s famous win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix does seem to have been somewhat forgotten about, as has Sainz’s victory at this season’s British Grand Prix.

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The Spaniard has come under what can be deemed as unfair criticism as of late, with the Ferrari driver being left to feel like people want him to “let” Charles Leclerc win.

It hasn’t been Sainz’s most memorable year, especially on the back of beating Leclerc in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.

Sainz has been unable to compete at the front as consistently as Leclerc, with the latter seeming to be Ferrari’s golden boy.

Ferrari president John Elkann recently sung Leclerc’s praises as the team’s lead driver, despite consistent calls from Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto that the team doesn’t have a number one and a number two, but instead equal drivers.

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With the criticism in mind, Sainz “knows” that his career could derail just as suddenly as Ricciardo’s did, with it being impossible to remind fans or teams of previously strong results.

“I think every driver knows, we are judged by what we have done and achieved in the last race,” he told

“At the most we evaluate the last season, and that is why Daniel is in such a difficult situation today. No sport has a long memory, and I don’t think we can change this approach.

“It’s the way the sport values us. If you win you are a hero, you have a great weekend and you become the best driver in the world, no one is better than you. But if you go through a difficult period the opposite happens, it must be taken into account.”

Ricciardo is, of course, being replaced by fellow Australian Oscar Piastri, with the outgoing McLaren driver being left without a full-time seat for 2023.

There was some speculation that the Honey Badger might be open to a move to Haas; however, he’s since concluded that he “would like the break” from racing.

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“It’s something I’ve certainly evaluated since the summer break,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports.

“I wanted to give it a few races and the more time that passes, the more I feel like it’s what I need. Albeit as well the opportunities… there’s not really anything in the form of next year!

“It’s part I would like the break and need to reset a little bit, and part 2024 as well, some other things may open up.”