Ricardo’s McLaren career appears to be coming to an end with the team eager to replace him with oscar piastre following his struggles for speed and consistency. The Australian gambled by leaving Renault for the start of the 2021 season but things did not go as planned despite winning at Monza last year he has struggled to find any real form and has found it difficult to adapt to McLaren’s tricky-to-drive cars.
When compared to Norris his result paints a bleak picture the brit has 70 points this season and has impressed even when the team has struggled but Ricardo is 51 points behind his teammate and has also been regularly outperformed in qualifying.
Norris has frequently been asked about the Australian’s plight and he has previously attempted to offer solace such as when he explained how difficult the mcl36 is to drive and when asked if he has been playing mind games with the former red bull star he recently responded defensively:
“In what way what mind games can I play no it’s the opposite I’m trying to help him as much as I can it’s for the benefit of us as a team to try and beat alpine at the end of the day he sees everything I see in terms of data and everything I’m offering more help than I normally would let’s say you are fighting for a world championship I’m saying more things then i would do just because that’s what we need for the team that’s what I want for the team at the minute no it’s the opposite of mind games whatever that is mind soothing”
Ricardo has a contract with McLaren until the end of 2023 but it appears unlikely that he will stay for that long. The team wants to replace him with Oscar Piastre, although alpine believes they have a valid contract to make the f2 driver their driver next season. Few expected things to turn out this way ricardo’s struggles last season were attributed to adjusting to a new car philosophy which was eventually ironed out leading to his Monza victory season two with McLaren should have cured it. Despite this, the struggles not only continued but intensified. So why has Ricardo had such difficulty with McLaren’s formula one car over the last two years?
The key point to remember is that while the 2022 regulations heralded a technological overhaul for f1, they did not eliminate many of the characteristics of the McLaren car that made it so difficult to drive last year. The mcl36, like the mcl35m, excels in high-speed corners but struggles more in medium-speed ones. Mclaren technical director James Key stated at the end of last year that the company wanted to attack the weaknesses and account for them with a clean slate ensuring that there were no legacy built-in behaviors in a car like that. However, both Ricardo and Norris encountered the same difficulties with the new car.
In an interview ahead of the summer break Ricardo explained
“the regulations make the car feel different but the DNA of the car is still very similar, some of the things from last year which I struggled with they are still in this car, it’s something I think we’re starting to understand better what it is but obviously, I tried to describe it but to really understand is it aero is it geometry like do you know what I mean we are starting to understand better what it is and Lando also does complain about it I think he’s just used to it. Norris however has also found it difficult to get to grips with the mcl36 at times forcing him to adjust his driving style I don’t think you can probably in any way say the car is made around me from what I want from the car it’s like the opposite of what it’s giving me at the minute and yeah I would say the car I have now is completely not what I want for my driving style and it’s very unsuited for me it’s not a bad thing it’s just that is what it is and you have to adapt to it that’s why I feel like I’ve done a reasonable job this year adapting to something that is not what I want or like that’s one of the improvements I’ve made over the last few years.”
Nonetheless, it appears that plans are already in place to replace Ricardo with Oscar Piastre but there is one problem! According to reports, Ricardo is the only party with the authority to terminate his contract putting McLaren in a difficult position. According to the report Ricardo has asked for a fee of more than 12 million pounds to leave the team. If both parties reach an agreement the final fee is expected to be lower but Ricardo will still earn millions from stepping aside to allow Piastre to race alongside Lando Norris and even if he does end up leaving the working outfit his f1 future is likely to be secure with several teams eager to snap him up. In recent weeks at least four teams have reportedly made contact with the Australian to assert his intentions alpine is believed to be one of them and they would consider bringing Ricardo back into the fold if they lost Piastre to McLaren
On paper, Ricardo remains the best of a limited number of options if alpine’s first choice fails to materialize. However, signing him would rely on the Australian gaining his brilliant form which is far from guaranteed but what do you think will Daniel Ricardo make the decision to give McLaren what they want and leave the
team? If that’s the case where will he go and is alpine willing to take the risk of signing him? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Source & Credit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rpa4Czzemo&ab_channel=Slipstream