Zak Brown has revealed that McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo discussed the possibility of the Aussie moving to their IndyCar team.
The British team have officially announced that Ricciardo will be leaving at the end of the season, a year before his contract is supposed to expire.
While they say it was a mutual decision, it’s widely believed that they were the ones to choose to end the partnership, wanting to replace Ricciardo with compatriot Oscar Piastri.
Just what the 33-year-old will do next is unclear, and many would like to see him cross the pond to join the IndyCar grid.
He’s long stated his love for American racing, and McLaren have a team in the series, so such a move isn’t that far-fetched.
Brown says that it was indeed discussed, but thinks Ricciardo would prefer to remain in Formula 1.
“We spoke about that,” the McLaren CEO said.
“He’s an exceptional racing driver for any team he drives for, it’s a privilege to have Daniel drive for you.
“We do have a variety of racing activities. That being said, he’s very focused on F1.
“So of course, the door will always be open here at McLaren, but I believe that he has a real desire to continue in F1.”
McLaren choosing to drop Ricciardo a year early is hardly a surprise given his struggles since joining the team at the start of 2021.
More often than not, he has struggled to perform at the same high level as team-mate Lando Norris, looking like a shadow of his former self.
Nevertheless, Brown says he’ll look back at their time together, which did see Ricciardo get the team’s first win in nine years, fondly, and claims theirs no hard feelings between the two parties.
“I’m going to look back with some very fond memories, some fun times together on and off the track,” the American added.
“We’re in a business, where Andreas and everybody here at McLaren needs to focus on ultimate performance.
“We hope and wish Daniel the best. There’s absolutely no ill will between us. It’s all very amicable.
“He too has had a good time at McLaren and he’s young, so we hope to see him in a competitive racing car and one of these days, we might see him being a pain for us on the race track and that will be fun because he’s a great competitor.”
If Ricciardo does decide he wants to remain in F1, he’ll undoubtedly have options with both Haas and Williams said top have already contacted him.
However, his preferred move would most likely be a return to Alpine given their superior machinery, and the French team are said to be open to such a reunion.
Reportedly, they’re currently debating whether they want the Aussie or Mick Schumacher to replace Fernando Alonso next season.