McLaren believes it needed to make a change given Daniel Ricciardo’s ongoing struggles, but team principal Andreas Seidl says the team must take some blame for the failed partnership.
Ricciardo was contracted until the end of 2023 but McLaren has reached a mutual agreement with the Australian for him to leave at the end of this year, opening the door for Oscar Piastri to join if a contractual dispute with Alpine is settled. Seidl (pictured above) says the discussions have been ongoing for some time due to the lack of results, with both sides admitting they haven’t made a success of Ricciardo’s time with the team.
“It’s not a secret that if you look back at the last 18 months of our journey together, it’s clear that we haven’t achieved — despite highlights like the great win in Monza — the results that we wanted to achieve together,” Seidl said.
“That’s why we had a lot of discussions the last month — Zak (Brown) and myself, together with Daniel — but in the end we have to acknowledge we didn’t make it work it work together, despite all the commitment from Daniel’s side and the team’s side, despite all the effort we all have put in.
“That’s why we came to the decision that we wanted to make a change for next year and mutually agreed together with Daniel that we terminate the contract early at the end of this year.
“It’s clearly not the outcome that we were all looking for, but at the same time it’s important now to switch our focus towards the next nine races together and give it all again as a team. Daniel will do the same and try to finish our relationship on a high, which will be important because we are in a close battle with the Alpine cars, and we definitely want to get back into P4 in the constructors’ championships.”
Seidl says that he needs to take a share of the blame for the team’s role in Ricciardo not performing at the level expected.
“From the team side there was a huge commitment and a lot of effort went into making this work. The same thing happened from Daniel’s side and I think it’s also clear that regarding internal challenges we had, or the internal situation, that we don’t give a live commentary of all the conversations that we are having.
“The important thing for me — and that is always how we work with our colleagues or employees, but also with our race drivers — is that you have an open and honest and transparent dialogue internally between each other, which we always had.
“We tried everything we could from both sides; unfortunately, we couldn’t make it work. Which is obviously also my responsibility, being in charge of the team.
“In the end it’s a team effort between the team and the driver and that’s how I also see it. It’s a shared responsibility for also not getting it to work.”