Daniel Ricciardo says he wanted confirmation of his 2023 plans “to come from the horse’s mouth” after re-emphasising his commitment to McLaren.
Ricciardo joined McLaren on a three-year deal in 2021 but while he won last season’s Italian Grand Prix he has largely struggled to get on terms with team-mate Lando Norris.
Ricciardo has scored just three top 10 finishes this year and sits on 17 points to the 64 amassed by Norris.
Ricciardo took to social media last week to underline his intention to see out the duration of his McLaren contract, amid rumours linking other drivers to his seat.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix, Ricciardo said: “There’s a lot of noise, rumours, people kind of questioning, coming up with their own answers. It was just kind of building I guess.
“I was like ‘I’m just going to let everyone know’. I think also for people that follow me and my supporters, if you will – ‘what’s Daniel going to do, is this going to be it?’
“I was like ‘No, it’s time to let everyone know from the horse’s mouth’.
“All these race teams, there’s hundreds of people that work from the factory that don’t come trackside and don’t get to see everything, don’t get to see me on a race weekend as well, the work I’m putting in.
“Also for them, if they’re reading headlines on ‘What’s Daniel’s future?’ ‘Is he going to move to another team again?’
“For them, if they’re trying to develop the car for me and they’re like ‘What’s Daniel going to do?’, I just wanted to remove any doubt from them, I wanted to address them and be like ‘I’m in this with you’. I wanted to draw a line under that.”
Ricciardo added that he “got support” from senior figures at McLaren after posting the message.
“They see me pretty much every race weekend,” he said. “After maybe a bad weekend, I also feel like it’s on me to let them know that I’m not happy with the weekend, I’m still pushing for this, I’m working hard and I want to do this etc.
“I guess they see it, but people working behind the scenes at the factory, just making sure that they still know my commitment is there.”
Hopefully he will know by the end of the season.
Ricciardo is being schooled by Norris from all directions.
McLaren want 2 dogs in the fight at every race.
So he needs to get over the fact the he can’t run with Norris and play his role as the rear gunner.
Like he was unfairly pushed to do with Max in the early stages. But later Max was doing exactly what Norris is doing now. Sadly the last waltz & final curtain beckons for Riccardo.
He has been an entertaining part of F1 and there is always a future in another mode of racing. So it’s not all doom and gloom.