Former Formula 1 team principal Eddie Jordan concedes that he does not know how much longer Daniel Ricciardo has left at McLaren after his poor form continued in Monaco.
A crash in practice disrupted Ricciardo’s rhythm as he headed into the rest of the weekend, and he was seven tenths of a second down on Lando Norris in Q2 as he was eliminated.
The Australian finished the race in 13th behind Pierre Gasly, meaning that he has scored points on two of the last 12 Sundays, while team-mate Lando Norris has been in the points 10 times during that time, as well as scoring a podium in Imola.
Ricciardo fell from ninth to 12th in Barcelona while the Briton grabbed eighth despite suffering from tonsillitis, while the seven places that separated them in Monaco last weekend was another reminder of the brilliance of the 22-year-old.
Nonetheless, the fact that Ricciardo is not matching that excellent form is a concerning pattern, and Jordan, who ran the Jordan team from 1991 to 2005 and oversaw four race wins, observes that the picture currently looks bleak for Ricciardo.
“He’s letting races flow by, and you very seldom get a chance to claw this back,” he said during Channel 4’s coverage of the race.
“I think I’d be watching his career path from now on, because I’m not sure how much further he can go.”
As a result, the Irishman urges the eight-time race winner to improve his performance to avoid a humiliating year.
“Lando is destroying him, mentally, physically and on the track and when you have that kind of a scenario inside of a team, it gets to you so he needs to shake it up immediately,” added Jordan.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has now begun to put pressure on the former Red Bull driver to pick up his performances, and warns that there are “mechanisms” in place, indicating that they may decide to terminate Ricciardo’s contract before it expires next year.
“I don’t want to get into [the contract] but there are mechanisms in which we’re committed to each other and then there’s mechanisms in which we’re not,” he said, quoted by the Race.
“I’ve spoken with Daniel about it, we’re not getting the results that we both hoped for, but we’re both going to continue to push.
“I think he showed at Monza he can win races. We also need to continue to develop our race car, it’s not capable of winning races, but we’d like to see him further up the grid.
“We’ll just play it – I don’t want to say ‘one race at a time’ because we’re not going to one race at a time – but we’ll just see how things develop, what he wants to do.”
Ricciardo has scored just 11 points this season, and is now 37 points adrift of seventh-placed Norris.