Ricciardo: I’m fully committed to McLaren

Jessica Thompson

Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed any suggestion he could lose his McLaren race seat before the end of 2023, when his current contract expires.

Ricciardo’s poor recent form has prompted rumours about his future with the team.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown heightened that speculation during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, saying Ricciardo has not been meeting expectations and revealing there are “mechanisms” in the contract which would allow McLaren to cut ties early.

Ricciardo said he’s not taking Brown’s comments to heart and reaffirmed his commitment to the British team.

“Weve spoken, we’ve had a catch up,” Ricciardo said ahead of Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which he won in 2017.

“I think nothing needed to be elaborated on, sometimes I’m guilty of it was well, getting caught up in the media and not always making total sense of things and I just like to talk!

“The clarity is clear for us moving forward, my contract is clear with the team until the end of next year.

“I’m fully committed, I’ve certainly voiced that, and it’s obviously now just on track to show it and show these moments and these races I know I’m capable of. I have the full support of the team and we want to do it together.”

Ricciardo struggled in his first season with McLaren last year before claiming a stunning victory at the Italian Grand Prix, the team’s first F1 win since late 2012 and the eighth of his career.

The Australian, who finished 13th in Monaco last time out to continue a run of four races without scoring a point, said he has always thrived under pressure.

“I think it’s why I’m probably being talked about finishing 13th, is people know I can be better and I guess it speaks to my results in the past and I guess me as a driver that people believe in me.

“I also don’t expect an amazing narrative when I cross the line in 13th. I like pressure, it’s a good platform to perform on, and it’s also why I signed up to this. I love it, success after struggle always tastes sweeter so that’s what I look forward to.

Ricciardo said it is not fair to suggest his three-year contract made him complacent.

“[it does give] some comfort but that comfort shouldn’t be misconstrued with complacency, absolutely not, and it’s a simple as this – my results I want them to be better, I know they can be better, and I want to enjoy that success with the team. I’m not going to sit back in 13th and be happy with that or complacent with that, not at all.”

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