Daniel Ricciardo has had a disastrous start to the 2022 season, with tension between himself and the McLaren F1 Team growing.
Rumours have already began to circulate that McLaren CEO Zak Brown has become disillusioned with the Australian, and is looking to IndyCar for his replacement.
However, it has been reported by Scott Mitchell from The Race that only Ricciardo can end their contract.
“It’s Ricciardo with the option of triggering a break clause,” Mitchell reported.
“So whether Ricciardo’s 2023 contract is upheld seems to be down to him.
“It seems to be his choice to make, at least. And it’s worth noting he has so far had nothing bad to say about how McLaren has treated him, or the effort it is putting in to help him turn things around.
“That’s important because how Ricciardo feels within McLaren will inform his decision.
“Either McLaren will decide to persevere to the very end or it will conclude this just isn’t working out and that it’s in its best interest if Ricciardo leaves. It could then try to encourage Ricciardo to do that.”
After seven rounds, Ricciardo has only one top ten finish and sits well behind his team-mate, Lando Norris, in the championship.
McLaren have kept it no secret that their becoming ever more frustrated with the Honey Badger, with Brown telling the media that Ricciardo “had not met expectations”.
Ricciardo has only scored 11 points so far this season, compared to Lando Norris’ 48 points.
The Australian is aware that things aren’t going well at the moment, with his McLaren career yet to really take-off.
Apart from his victory at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, last season was also incredibly disappointing for someone of Ricciardo’s calibre.
Ricciardo explained how he is in a “battle”, however, the Aussie is aiming to improve at the upcoming races.
“For me at the moment to get up to that, to push my car on the limit and to get it out of myself, it’s still a little bit of a difficulty or a battle,” he said.
“I say a little bit – it is, obviously. So it’s now really just trying to keep picking it apart. And I’ll also try and learn from last year.
“This is unfortunately known territory from 12 months ago. I think there’s things we did well in these situations and things that we probably look back on and say we could have probably done it differently.
“That’s where I’ll try and attack it in a more productive way,” Ricciardo concluded.