Former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes Daniel Ricciardo will be hard pressed to find a seat in 2023 if the McLaren team ever decides to replace the Australian with Oscar Piastri as rumors suggest.
According to rumours, Australian Oscar Piastri has signed a pre-agreement with the McLaren team to start in Formula 1 from the 2023 season alongside Briton Lando Norris and as a direct replacement for his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo, who for his part is linked with a return to Alpine after Fernando Alonso decided to join the Aston Martin team from next year. However, Ralf Schumacher believes that 2022 could well be Ricciardo’s last season in the premier class, not least because several other drivers are also available for 2023 and Alpine will therefore be spoiled for choice to replace Alonso.
“The names are there for each cockpit. Mike [Schumacher, actuellement chez Haas] has not yet signed a contract. Therefore, he would be a candidate, a candidate with speed as you have seen. explains Ralf Schumacher on Sky Sports.
“Nico Hulkenberg [pilote de réserve d’Aston Martin] is also still in the starting blocks, and then there is also the question of Ricciardo. Personally, I cannot imagine that he [Ricciardo] would have another chance in Formula 1, but I don’t know who Alpine should take at the moment [pour remplacer Alonso].”
Schumacher also criticized the way Alpine handled the Piastri case and absolutely does not blame the young Australian for refusing the offer from the French manufacturer’s team: “One thing is clear: at the beginning Alpine had no interest in putting Piastri in the car next year, because you saw that young drivers need some time.
“They wanted to put him somewhere else for a year or two. There was an option from Alpine to sign him in 2023, but that didn’t happen as Fernando Alonso was not expected to leave. If you have such a jewel, it is criminal to let it go. If you are unable to properly design the contracts yourself, you cannot blame the young man. One thing should not be forgotten, Piastri manager Mark Webber has a very close bond with McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.
Officially, Daniel Ricciardo is under contract with McLaren until the end of the 2023 season, and the Australian has already indicated that he will go through with his contract. However, contracts in Formula 1 are made to be broken as some say….