Why Mercedes denied services of $50 Million F1 star for Valtteri Bottas
|Mon Aug 08 2022
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says he admires Daniel Ricciardo as a driver and has always kept a close eye on him.
It looks like Daniel Ricciardo’s time with McLaren is coming to an end. The 33-year-old has struggled during his time with the British racing team since joining them in 2021.
Ricciardo was outperformed by his teammate Lando Norris in 2021. Although, he gave McLaren their first race win in almost 10 years at the 2021 Italian GP.
And the Aussie has managed to score points in just 4 of the first 13 races of the 2022 season. He stands 12th in the driver’s standing with just 19 points.
It is rumoured that the reigning F2 champion and fellow Australian Oscar Piastri is set to replace him at McLaren in 2023. Piastri recently rejected driving for Alpine in an online statement after the French team announced he will replace outgoing Fernando Alonso.
I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) August 2, 2022
Ricciardo’s departure and Piastri’s incoming will be announced by McLaren after the current driver finds a seat. And Ricciardo is most probably heading to his former team Alpine with whom he drove between 2019 and 2020.
Danny Ric is a charismatic personality on and off the track. And needless to say, he has a lot of admirers. And one of them being Toto Wolff who has always “had an eye” on him.
Mercedes boss has an eye on Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo is known off-track for his wide smile, his humour and jolly behaviour. But on track, Daniel is a different driver altogether.
He is known for his late braking and fierce driving. These were his assets during his Red Bull days from 2014 to 2018 when he won 9 Grand Prix and finished twice as the 3rd best driver in the standings.
And one of his admirers is Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff who has liked Daniel’s driving. “We always had an eye on Daniel. We really like him in here,” Wolff said.
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) September 30, 2017
And Wolff was keen on snatching up the Aussie. But Mercedes who enjoyed a dominant winning streak had a formidable pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. And therefore, the idea of bringing Daniel to Mercedes never took off.
On the idea of signing Daniel from rivals, Red Bull Wolff said, “It’s just the mentality in Mercedes. I sometimes feel if you’re happy in your relationship it is not always easy to change.”
“It is like being married, you need to be 100 per cent behind it. And was not a lack of interest. It was just that we were in a happy relationship and there was no need to flirt with another woman at that stage.”
And with Daniel on the move and Lewis’s contract expiring after the 2023 season, there could be a possibility that the move takes off. Ricciardo just has to hope that the doors to race with Mercedes do open for him!