DANIEL RICCIARDO looks set to lose his McLaren drive for next season as the team backs Oscar Piastri.
Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at 2022 McLaren launch
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Daniel Ricciardo has broken his social media silence after reportedly being told he will lose his McLaren drive for next season. Ricciardo was photographed beaming while swimming on holiday, suggesting the Australian is not worried about his F1 future.
He posted the image alongside a caption which simply said “hello” with a sun emoji. It comes after a source close to Ricciardo reported he had already been told of McLaren’s decision to replace him with Oscar Piastri for next season, according to ESPN.
It is believed Ricciardo was told the news by McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl after the Hungarian Grand Prix. The former Red Bull and Renault star is understood to be in discussions with McLaren over a financial settlement to terminate his contract a year early.
It is also understood Ricciardo was not interested in a seat at McLaren’s Formula E team in a bid to remain on the F1 grid. Ricciardo is tipped to sign for Alpine, securing the seat Piastri was expected to step into when Fernando Alonso announced his switch to Aston Martin.
READ MORE: Daniel Ricciardo’s message to McLaren before learning of plans to sack
Daniel Ricciardo faces the axe from McLaren (Image: Getty)
The former F2 champion was announced as an Alpine driver last week but he posted a statement on social media hours later claiming this was not true. It meant the French manufacturer lost out on the services of double champion Alonso and a future star in the making over the course of just 72 hours.
In an attempt to grasp a handle on the situation, Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer said Ricciardo would be a “good recommendation”. Szafnauer added the team had “some options” available to fill the seat suggesting he could be open to a Ricciardo return.
He added: “I mean, if you look at Fernando, for example, he comes and goes, and I think that happens to other drivers too.
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“And I don’t think that’s an issue at all. I think what we need to focus on is, like I say, the plans that we have for the next 89-88 races. We’ve got to make sure that we complement that plan with the best driver that we can, and there are some options out there for us.
“And we put the best driver in next to Esteban [Ocon], so that we can move forward towards what we’ve been planning.”