Ricciardo told beating Norris is the only way he can save his McLaren career

Doubt has been cast over Daniel Ricciardo's future at McLaren after a tough start to the 2022 season.

Former Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert believes that there is still a way for Daniel Ricciardo to stay in Formula 1, but it is not going to be easy.

Ricciardo has scored points just 15 times in 29 races with McLaren, and that includes the P6 he achieved at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race earlier this season.

The Australian has been out-qualified 21 times by team-mate Lando Norris, who has been in the points six times this year, one of those top 10 finishes arriving in the form of a podium in Imola.

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After going four races without points, Ricciardo arrives in Baku for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix knowing he needs a good result to alleviate some of the pressure that is on him.

Herbert suggests that, if the 32-year-old does not start performing his superstar team-mate Norris, then his career might be over at the end of 2022.

“Yes he can [turn things around], the only way he can do that is to beat his team-mate Lando Norris, but it is going to be very, very tough because Lando is in a very good place at the moment,” the three-time race winner told Sky Sports.

“If that doesn’t happen then sadly, I think this may be the last season we see Daniel Ricciardo.”

Ricciardo does not pay too much attention to the whispers surrounding his future and affirms that, despite CEO Zak Brown’s “mechanisms” comment, he still very much has a deal in place for 2023.

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“I am contracted to the team to the end of next year so that’s pretty much as black and white as it is,” he said ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend.

“But I’m also committed to them; I really want to make it work.

“For sure [in the] last couple of weekends, I haven’t been happy with the results but yeah, I also don’t mind sometimes my back up against the wall and proving people wrong.

“Moments like Monza last year, that’s also… days like that, I know how powerful they can be.

“That’s also the hunger is to get that back and have that feeling again so, that’s it.

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“If people want to keep talking then I’m not going to stop them from talking but they’re the facts.”

Regarding the Brown’s indications that the Australian may be dropped before the end of 2023, the eight-time race winner said “we’re good,” indicating that his relationship with McLaren is still intact.