McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed that he will be staying at the team at least until the end of his contract next season.
The Australian has endured an extremely tough time of it at the Woking side, scoring points 16 times in 33 races while team-mate Lando Norris has managed 29 top 10 finishes.
The Briton has also been on the podium five times, and Ricciardo’s win last season in Monza has not done a lot to paper over the cracks.
He has come under criticism this year after some tough results and poor performances, and some of that criticism has come from his own CEO, Zak Brown.
This has led to scepticism over whether or not he will be interested in remaining at the British side beyond the end of this year, or indeed whether McLaren will consider letting him out of his contract early.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Williams’ Alex Albon, Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri, IndyCar drivers Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward, and Formula 2 driver Jehan Daruvala have all been mentioned in recent weeks as possible replacements.
Many of those suggestions are extremely tenuous at best, and Ricciardo has taken to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to reiterate that he will be staying at the Woking-based team going into the 2023 season.
“There have been a lot of rumours around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me,” he wrote.
“I am committed to McLaren until the end of next year and am not walking away from the sport.
“Appreciate it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants it easy!
“I’m working my ass off with the team to make improvements and get the car right and back to the front where it belongs. I still want this more than ever.”
Brown conceded that his previous comments invited some unnecessary external pressure on his driver, and has recently assured that he will be at driving for McLaren next season.
“What I said about Daniel’s performances did not cause any problems in the team, although it did bring a lot of rumours from the outside,” he said.
“But we have a great relationship with Dan and we are constantly texting one another, he will be with us next year and we will do our best to get him back in shape.”
Ricciardo finished ninth last weekend in Austria, while Norris ended up P7 in what ended as a decent weekend for the team having looked on Friday as though it was going to be a nightmare when the Briton qualified 15th ahead of his 16th-placed team-mate.