Daniel Ricciardo’s sacking draws parallels with $500,000-a-year driver fired by McLaren on his birthday
With McLaren set to fire Daniel Ricciardo, fans point out how the team fired Kevin Magnussen by email on his birthday in 2015.
Daniel Ricciardo’s time with McLaren has mostly reached the end of the line. The Aussie joined the British racing team in 2021, replacing the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.
Ricciardo, a 9-time winner, gave McLaren their first race win in nearly 10 years at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. But apart from a few great moments, he has struggled at McLaren.
He was outperformed in 2021 and the first half of 2022 by teammate Lando Norris. And in 2022, he has scored points in just 4 of the first 13 races. He stands 12 in the driver’s standings with 19 points after the 2022 Hungarian GP.
His poor performances have cost the team 4th place in the constructor’s standings. McLaren is willing to let go of Ricciardo a year before his contract expires in 2023.
McLaren will be replacing the 33-year-old with reigning F2 Champion Oscar Piastri. Oscar, a product of Alpine’s academy, has rejected driving for the French outfit in a statement released by the team.
Ricciardo had earlier released a statement ahead of the French GP that he would commit himself to Mclaren. But despite this, McLaren will let the Aussie go at the end of the season. He will hear offers from Alpine, who wish to recall the Aussie back.
Ricciardo is most likely to return to Alpine, with whom he raced in 2019 & 2020 when it was known as Renault. And it shows how McLaren, who seems like a very nice team, isn’t always as nice as you’d expect!
Daniel Ricciardo faces the same fate as Kevin Magnussen
Oscar Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season. McLaren will release a statement and announce Piastri after Ricciardo finds a new team. And this has drawn similarities with another former McLaren driver who was axed by the team.
It’s none other than current Haas driver Kevin Magnussen. Kevin served as a test driver for McLaren and was promoted to the team for 2014 alongside Jenson Button. The Dane’s deal lasted for two years, and he received just $500,000.
He had a stellar debut in the 2014 Australian GP, scoring a podium by finishing 2nd in the race. He became only the second F1 driver after Lewis Hamilton to achieve a podium on his F1 debut.
Magnussen finished the season 11th in the standings with 55 points. In 2015, Fernando Alonso took his seat, demoting him to reserve driver status. McLaren further did not allow the Dane to race in the IndyCar championship.
Magnussen was not provided with an explanation. He was let go by McLaren on October 5, 2015, when he turned 23. According to an email from Ron Dennis’ personal assistant, Team Principal, the team did not have room for him.
Magnussen deserved to be in Formula One, according to Dennis. When his fellow shareholder Mansour Ojjeh expressed a desire to keep Button in the car, he changed his mind about pairing Magnussen with Alonso this season.
The Dane said, “It was a short paragraph explaining there would be nothing for me in the future. It arrived on my birthday.” Magnussen later joined Renault, with whom he’d race in F1 for another season.