Daniel Ricciardo’s departure from the McLaren F1 Team has finally been announced, albeit earlier than expected.
The Australian has struggled at the Woking-based side and has been second best to team-mate Lando Norris on a regular basis.
His victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix is by far the Australian’s highlight from his short spell with the British team, with not much else to really look back on from his 18 months at Woking.
Despite it all, he still ended McLaren’s winless drought, and became the first McLaren driver to win a race since 2012, something not even Norris has achieved yet.
His relationship with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown also appeared a sticky one, with the American having spoken out against Ricciardo all too often.
Ricciardo is all but expected to be replaced by Alpine F1 Team reserve driver Oscar Piastri, who is refusing to drive for the French team.
The 33-year-old is the favourite to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine, with a phone call having also taken place prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix with Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner about the possibility of replacing Mick Schumacher.
Ricciardo in an official statement, revealed that he’ll be announcing his “own future plans” soon, with the Honey Badger “privileged” to have raced for McLaren.
“It’s been a privilege to be a part of the McLaren Racing family for the last two seasons but following several months of discussions with Zak & Andreas we have decided to terminate my contract with the team early and agree to mutually part ways at the end of this season,” Ricciardo said in an official statement.
“I’ll be announcing my own future plans in due course but regardless of what this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I gave McLaren, especially the win in Monza, last season.
“I’ve enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren both trackside and back in Woking and will be giving my all on and off track as we enjoy the remainder of the season together.
“I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be a part of a sport that I love so much and look forward to what comes next.”
Ricciardo will most likely be paid a large amount of the £17 million he’s demanded from the team to relinquish his seat, with the Aussie having been contracted until the end of next season.
The Italian GP winner can at least now focus on finding a seat elsewhere, without having to be concerned about his own position at McLaren anymore.
Incredibly, Ricciardo has already been offered a brand-new role; however, in a completely different discipline.
The Australian recorded himself during his summer break adventure touring America, singing along to Matchbox Twenty’s 1997 hit ‘3AM’.
The clip has since gone viral, with the band themselves recognising Ricciardo’s great taste in music!
The band were impressed with Ricciardo’s singing ability and have offered the driver a “side gig” away from F1.
“If you’re ever looking for a side gig outside of @F1 let us know @danielricciardo!” the band wrote on Twitter.
Comments quickly flew in that Ricciardo should accept the offer, with the Aussie “definitely needing” a “main gig now”.
“He’ll definitely need it next year,” wrote one.
“He’s actually looking for a main gig now! Hopefully y’all sign him!” joked another.
“As a roadie,” said a third user.