McLaren insist Ricciardo will stay as Herta begins first F1 test

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Daniel Ricciardo will see out his McLaren contract in 2023, CEO Zak Brown insists.

Recent months have seen questions over the Australian's future after the American chief admitted Ricciardo had not met expectations since joining at the start of 2021.

Since then, it has been confirmed only Daniel himself can end his current contract early, an option the BBC claims McLaren is not 100% ruling out.

But Brown maintains his comments back in May have not led to any "ripples" between driver and team.

“Not at all within the race team,” he told Fox Sports Australia. “I know it caused a lot of ripples outside [but] Daniel and I have a great relationship.

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"Someone asked me a question and I gave an honest answer. It’s the same answer Daniel has given and would give, which is that we are not where we want to be.

“I think, on the flip side, if I said ‘no, everything’s great’, I think some would say ‘really, you’re happy with 12th?’ Of course, I’m not happy with 12th.

"So it was just an honest answer. It wasn’t meant to be critical," the McLaren chief reiterated. "I know he can win us more races and we are trying unbelievably hard.

"Given his resume, we expect him to be right next to Lando whether that’s right in front or right behind and so does he. We’ll get there."

Ricciardo's form has been mixed in recent races with stronger performances in Baku and Canada but tougher weekends again at Silverstone and Spielberg.

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And Brown maintains there are no doubts over the 33-year-old's future at McLaren.

“Oh yeah," he said on if Ricciardo will stay in 2023.

"He’s a fighter, and his results since we’ve said that — that’s not how they were intended — have been much closer to Lando, and he beat Lando, so maybe there was something…firing him up.

“We love working with him. He loves the team. We’ve seen when we give him a car that’s capable of winning, he can win in it.

“As he said last year, he didn’t feel he had a good season last year and he still won. So it’s in there. We just have to figure out how to unlock it, give him a car he’s more comfortable with.”

Beyond 2023, however, the situation is less certain and this week, IndyCar driver Colton Herta is completing his first F1 test with McLaren at Portimao in Portugal.


“Colton is a proven talent in IndyCar and we will be interested to see how he adapts to a Formula 1 car,” said McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.

“We believe this testing programme will provide him with valuable experience while demonstrating the benefit of expanding previous car testing to showcase promising drivers for the future.”

Like Ricciardo, the American driver's current deal with Andretti Autosport also ends at the end of next year.