Ricciardo says he's 'committed' to McLaren for 2023 as he insists he's 'not walking away from the sport'
Daniel Ricciardo has batted away speculation that he was considering quitting Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season, insisting he had no intention of “walking away from the sport” and was “working his ass off” to improve his performance with McLaren.
Ricciardo has struggled at times since joining McLaren at the start of the 2021 season – despite taking victory at that year’s Italian Grand Prix – with the Australian driver having finished in the top 10 just four times in the opening 11 races this season. When compared to his team mate Lando Norris – who is seventh in the drivers’ championship with 64 points – Ricciardo is currently 12th, with 17 points.
Ricciardo’s future has been a talking point in recent times after comments made by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown to Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday show in May, in which he said: “Short of [Ricciardo’s victory at] Monza and a few races, it's generally not met his or our expectations, as far as what we were expecting.”
However, Brown recently cleared up his comments insisting that his and Ricciardo’s relationship had “never been better,” adding that the onus was on McLaren to try and give Ricciardo and Norris a car that would allow them to fight at the front of the grid.
And in seeking to put an end to all the “rumours,” Ricciardo took to social media to state his intentions to continue with the team into next year – with Ricciardo contracted until the end of 2023 – and insisting that he and McLaren were working hard to get back to the front of the grid.
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“There have been a lot of [rumours] around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me,” wrote Ricciardo, who finished P9 in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday. “I am committed to McLaren until the end of next year and am not walking away from the sport. Appreciate it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants easy!
“I’m working my ass off with the team to make improvements and get the car right and back to the front where it belongs. I still want this more than ever. See you in Le Castellet. Daniel”
Ricciardo’s comments come after McLaren gave a two-day test to IndyCar star Colton Herta as part of their Testing of Previous Car’s (TPC) programme, as he drove their 2021-spec McLaren MCL35 around Portugal's Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao – with some viewing the American driver as a potential McLaren F1 driver of the future.