Daniel Ricciardo ‘driving to survive’ with Alpine driver tipped to replace him at McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo's future is again appearing uncertain, with reports of Mark Webber trying to get Oscar Piastri into his seat at McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo’s recent revival somewhat continued at the Austrian Grand Prix, with a well-deserved 9th place finish at the Red Bull Ring; however, he once again finished behind team-mate Lando Norris.

Ricciardo’s 9th place finish means he’s now finished in the top-ten three times this season, with the other two coming at the Australian and Azerbaijan Grand Prix’s respectively.

At the halfway point of the season, the Australian driver has scored just 17-points, whereas Norris has 64-points.

Ricciardo drove well in Austria, but suffered from a “very big flat spot” caused by an early lock-up.

READ: Mick Schumacher reveals how team orders ‘anger’ affected him in Austria

This costed the Honey Badger plenty of time; however, he believed that considering everything it was a “decent race”.

“It was OK,” Ricciardo said after the race.

“I’m obviously happy to have moved forward and got a couple points out of it.

“But yeah, I would have loved a bit more pace,” admitted the Australian.

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“There were certainly some areas where I felt better yesterday. I didn’t quite have at all times what I wanted in the car today, particularly the first stint.

“I locked up at the start and got a very big flat spot on the first stint and I struggled a lot through all the right-hand corners.

“That was quite a shame because I think we had good track position — I think I made up one or two spots on the first lap. That was good but then didn’t have the pace.

“With newer tyres, it was a little bit better but it still wasn’t everything I hoped for. All that being said, it was a decent race. It was solid but just decent.”

With eleven races left this season, Ricciardo needs a monumental second half of the year should he wish to remain a McLaren F1 driver in 2023.

Despite being contracted for next season, it’s been reported that McLaren CEO Zak Brown is becoming increasingly unhappy with the Australian’s performance.

Brown has spoken out against Ricciardo publicly this season, insisting to the media that there were “mechanisms” in place to fire the 33-year-old.

Recently; however, Brown has spoken more positively about the former race winner, declaring that himself and the team are “committed” to the Aussie.

“It was just an honest answer, it wasn’t meant to be critical,” Brown said when asked about his negative comments directed at Ricciardo.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t think he can win us more races, it doesn’t mean we’re not trying unbelievably hard — quite the opposite; I know he can win us more races, we’re trying unbelievably hard.

“But given his resume and how Lando (McLaren teammate Lando Norris) is going, do we expect him to be right next to Lando, whether that’s right in front or right behind? Yeah, and so does he.

“And we’re going to get there. We’re totally committed to it.”

Ricciardo will be hoping to challenge Norris soon, with yet another driver now being rumoured to take his place.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz, revealed that former driver Mark Webber is trying to get the British team to sign 2021 F2 World Champion and Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri.

The extremely talented Australian is all but certain to have a F1 seat for 2023, with Williams Racing appearing to be preparing to replace Nicholas Latifi with Piastri.

However, driver-turned-agent Webber, is rumoured to be attempting to get Piastri a better seat for next season, with McLaren appearing to be a possibility.

Kravitz discussed the rumour in great detail, going as far as saying that Ricciardo is “driving to survive” not only in McLaren but in F1 also.

“There are lots of rumours around as to why … Oscar Piastri, the Alpine reserve, has not signed for Williams,’ he said in the post-race wrap up of the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

“Could the delay be that he and his manager Mark Webber are looking at potentially replacing Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren?

“As every race goes by and points and performance fail to really come in for Daniel Ricciardo, maybe it looks more like, actually, McLaren will come in with a late offer for Oscar Piastri and nick him from under Williams’ nose and offer him Daniel Ricciardo’s seat for 2023.

“Obviously, that would leave Daniel Ricciardo maybe going to drive for McLaren somewhere else [in one of their other racing series] or doing something else altogether.

“But, yeah good luck to Danny Ric as he continues to, well as someone once said, drive to survive in Formula 1,” Kravitz concluded.