McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo have “mutually agreed” to end his contract a year earlier, meaning the eight-time race winner will leave at the end of the 2022 campaign.
The Australian joined McLaren for 2021 on a three-year contract, racing alongside Lando Norris, and although he took the team’s first win since 2012 at Monza last year – with Norris in second – he struggled to complete the very impressive to match his teammate’s pace.
On the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix, when Formula 1 returns from its summer break, Ricciardo and McLaren announced that they would complete the last nine races of the year together before going their separate ways.
McLaren says they will announce “in due course” who Norris will be working with in 2023. Ricciardo will do the same regarding his own future plans, but suggested he would like to stay in F1.
“It has been a privilege to be part of the McLaren Racing family for the past two seasons, but after several months of discussions with Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] & Andreas [Seidl, Team Principal] we have decided to end my contract with the team early and agree to part ways at the end of this season,” said the Australian.
“I will announce my own plans for the future in due course, but whatever this next chapter brings, I have no regrets and am proud of the effort and work I put into McLaren, especially the win at Monza last season.
“I have enjoyed working with everyone at McLaren both on the track and back at Woking and will give it my all on and off the track as we enjoy the rest of the season together. I’ve never been more motivated to compete and be a part of a sport I love so much and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
Seidl said: “I want to thank Daniel for his dedication and contribution over the past two seasons so far. Despite the shared challenges, he has always appeared with a fighting spirit and positivity and has helped the whole team to always keep moving forward.
“We will never forget that memorable victory in Monza, which was a great boost for the whole team. We still have an important battle in the Constructors’ Championship for the rest of the season and we look forward to fighting it out with Daniel and Lando.”
Brown added: “Daniel has been a great asset to McLaren and it has been a pleasure to work with him. I want to thank him for all his efforts over the past two seasons, both on the track and back on base.
“It’s no secret that we hoped we could achieve more together, but seeing him on the top step of the podium as a McLaren driver was a highlight. We wish him the best for the future and let’s enjoy the rest of the season together.”
Ricciardo is currently 12th in the Drivers’ standings with 19 points, 57th adrift of Norris after 13 Grands Prix. His best finish of the year was sixth in Australia, while Norris finished in the top six four times, including a podium at Imola.