Daniel Ricciardo has been more talked about for his underperformance than for his outbursts lately. And for good reason, with an 11th place in the championship and a low total of 11 points, the future seems to be dark for the Australian both at McLaren and in Formula 1. Falling significantly behind Lando Norris by 37 points after 7 races, the former Renault driver is experiencing major difficulties. So much so that his boss Zak Brown has publicly hinted that Ricciardo is not fully committed to McLaren in 2023. Indeed, according to the latter, there are ‘mechanisms’ each party has committed to and McLaren could release the Australian at the end of the season. The opportunity perhaps for Pierre Gasly to join the team.
Following a Monaco Grand Prix spent in the middle/end of the pack, Daniel Ricciardo did not reassure his bosses while Norris took 6th place and the fastest lap in the race. Not enough to boost the confidence of the Australian who crashed on Friday in FP2. The more time passes, the more the elements fuse against the former teammate of Max Verstappen. What is certain is that McLaren has many options to replace its pilot if necessary.
A solution for Pierre Gasly?
Under contract until the end of 2023, Pierre Gasly hopes to have another chance at Red Bull next year. However, given his lackluster start to the season and Pérez’s victory in Monaco, his chances already seem compromised. Indeed, the Mexican is even in the race for the World Championship, 15 short lengths from his teammate. A situation that already seems to be badly embarked. So if the French cannot have a chance with the Austrian team, we will have to seize the right opportunities. Ricciardo’s seat may be one.
Indeed, if McLaren were to release Ricciardo from his contract, the Gasly track could be an option of choice for the British team. Holder of a payroll far from astronomical, Pierre Gasly would cost less than Ricciardo. Indeed, the Frenchman is paid 9 million less than the Australian. The latter is paid 13 million euros per year against 4 for the French. A primarily economical choice but also interesting in terms of performance since Gasly demonstrated his speed on the track in 2020 and 2021 at the wheel of a more than modest car. It would also seem that the overtaking of the French on the Australian in the Principality this Sunday did not leave Zak Brown indifferent.
F1 — Update on the 2023 transfer market
Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris, the duo does not seem to ring true. Indeed, the two pilots are young, 26 years old for Gasly, 22 for Norris. They have never had a stormy relationship between teammates and could get along without any problem. However, winning at Woking would be a tall order for Gasly as Norris has been the team’s darling since joining McLaren. Agreement or rivalry, the simplicity of these two boys could make you think that they could get along without worries. However, if the French were to sign and perform well, tensions could quickly be felt.
Anyway, the competition will be tough and Daniel Ricciardo still has a contract. For the Woking stable, questions arise and options are studied. However, it looks like Pierre Gasly could tick many boxes in McLaren’s goals. She may be the luck of the French.
Pat O’Ward and Colton Herta prime options for McLaren
In the event that the Gasly track closes and Ricciardo does not extend, McLaren still has many possibilities. Indeed, currently engaged in IndyCar, Pat O’Ward and Colton Herta are two tracks that Brown could study. Indeed, aged 22 and 23, the two drivers seem fresh, talented and close to McLaren.
Patricio O’Ward recently finished second in the Indianapolis 500 and owns the same championship spot. He has been performing well since the start of the season and has been talked about across the Atlantic. Colton Herta is 10th but recently won the Indianapolis GP, a race contested at the center of the Motor speedway. Two successful drivers in IndyCar who could have their chances in 2023 with the British team. Options that McLaren is considering since Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl had recently certified that they had a solution for Herta with McLaren. He will even have the opportunity to test in 2022 at the wheel of the MCL35M, the car of 2021.
Various and varied solutions arise at McLaren. Between the choice of experience with Pierre Gasly or youth with O’Ward or Herta, the options turn out to be multiple. In any case, Ricciardo is under contract with McLaren and still has time to be able to convince his bosses to keep him for 2023. But time is running out and the Mercato will start very quickly.