Cover Image for Why McLaren prefers to pay off $21 Million to Daniel Ricciardo than keep him for 2023 season

Why McLaren prefers to pay off $21 Million to Daniel Ricciardo than keep him for 2023 season

Tejas Venkatesh
|Wed Aug 10 2022

According to reports, McLaren will be terminating Daniel Ricciardo’s contract early to replace him with Oscar Piastri for the 2023 F1 season.

McLaren will mostly sack Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the 2022 season. The Aussie has struggled with McLaren since he joined the team in 2021.

Daniel has been beaten by his teammate Lando Norris. And despite giving McLaren its first race in 9 years at the 2021 Italian GP, Ricciardo’s performance has usually been below par.

He has only scored in 4 of the first 13 races in the 2022 season so far. And it seems like McLaren will let go of his racing duties and replace him with reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri.

Piastri recently revealed in an online statement that he will not be driving for Alpine in 2023. The youngster has been rumoured to have inked a deal that will land him a seat in McLaren.


But Ricciardo has a contract with his current team until the end of the 2023 season. The 8-time Grand Prix winner earns a reported salary worth $15 Million at McLaren.

And if McLaren wishes to cut his deal early, then the British team will have to fork out a hefty $21 Million severance package. Added to this, McLaren will have to pay Alpine compensation for hijacking Piastri.

Alpine has reported they will be taking him and his team to court. And surprisingly, McLaren feels it’s better to pay off the Aussie than hold him for another year.

McLaren has a clause that sees Ricciardo’s salary increase next season. And thus the team will be closing Ricciardo’s chapter as early as the end of this year’s summer break.

Also Read: Alpine seeks compensation from Oscar Piastri after he abandons them despite their heavy investment in him

Daniel Ricciardo to move to Alpine

The rumour is that Daniel will be moving to his former team Alpine. The Aussie raced with the team while it was known as Renault in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Fernando Alonso will be departing from Alpine at the end of the 2022 season. The Spaniard will be joining Aston Martin for the upcoming year.

And with Oscar Piastri declining to drive for Alpine, the team has a free seat available. And mostly Ricciardo will be pairing up with Esteban Ocon.


Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer has been tight-lipped about incoming drivers. But he claimed that there are 14 drivers who are willing to fill the seat.

He said,  “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 so that we can move forward towards what we’ve been planning.”

Also Read: Daniel Ricciardo asks for $21 Million pay-out from McLaren

About the author