Daniel Ricciardo reveals Oscar Piastri’s manager apologised to him

Daniel Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of the year.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo showed his class by speaking to Mark Webber and Oscar Piastri recently, assuring his compatriots that there are no hard feelings.

The 33-year-old has not had an easy time of it since he joined the British side last year, and he has often struggled to find common ground with a stubborn car.

He has scored points 17 times, one of which was a win in Monza last season, but that still constitutes his only podium with the Woking-based squad.

Team-mate Lando Norris has dominated the intra-team battle, beating Ricciardo by 45 points in the championship last term, and he currently leads him by 63 points in 2022.

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The partnership has simply not worked as anyone hoped and, despite initially confirming that they would be seeing out the rest of Ricciardo’s contract until the end of next year, they have agreed to part ways.

The end of the relationship was internally confirmed on 4 July when Alpine reserve, Oscar Piastri, signed with the team, and he will move up to replace Ricciardo next year.

The eight-time race winner is now left without a seat for 2023, but he does not blame this on either Piastri or his manager Webber, who found a way out of his driver’s confusing Alpine situation.

Ricciardo revealed that Webber has checked in on him in person to make sure he is okay amid a point of uncertainty in his career.

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“We hadn’t seen each other in person, so he wanted to basically just – I feel he didn’t need to, but he felt like he wanted to, in a way – apologise and try to just see how I’m doing,” he said, quoted by RaceFans.net.

“Obviously I know how this sport is, it’s nothing personal to me and he wanted to make sure that I knew that and understood that, and just to make sure that I felt okay. 

“He feels really bad, obviously, how it’s gone down and how things are put out there in the media.”

The former Red Bull and Renault driver also divulged conversations with Piastri, during which he offered his congratulations and made sure there was no awkwardness.

“It was nice to speak to him, I’ve also spoken to Oscar, and just made sure that there’s no bad feelings there,” added Ricciardo.

“I understand how this works and he’s trying to make it, he’s trying to get into Formula 1 and this moment should be also really big for him. 

“I don’t want to make it a bad situation for him, and that’s that, it’s nothing personal.

“So that’s all the conversation was and I truly do wish him well, I want him to have a good run in F1, so it’s just the circumstances and that’s how it is but I still obviously like Mark a lot and respect him.”

Ricciardo, understandably did not want to specify exact details of a private conversation, but he is glad the talks went well and everyone can move on as friends.

“What we spoke about is private, but also it doesn’t bother me saying it, I wanted to tell him that there’s no hard feelings because if there’s no communication, you never know what someone’s feeling or thinking,” he explained.

“Obviously he’s a lot younger than me, so I don’t know maybe how he feels, if he’s nervous to reach out and see how I’m doing. 

“I wanted to make sure that it was clear that I understand his position and absolutely no hard feelings.

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“I think it made him feel better and I think it was the last thing he wanted, was to have some weird tension between a few of the only Australians that have ever been in this sport, so I’m glad that we’ve done that.”

Ricciardo had initially taken Webber’s place at Red Bull after the nine-time race winner left Formula 1 at the end of 2013.

Partnering Sebastian Vettel, he won three races in 2014 on his way to third in the championship.