Ricciardo's McLaren F1 career 'is over' says Villeneuve
May 31 - The writing is on the wall for Daniel Ricciardo's Formula 1 career at McLaren.
That is the blunt assessment of outspoken 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who thinks it's clear that the Woking based team will replace the under-performing Australian for 2023.
"Ricciardo's time at McLaren is over," the Canadian told the Dutch publication Formule 1.
"Zak Brown is already saying that there are clauses in the contract and that means that a decision has basically been made," Villeneuve added. "It's a way to put the pressure on the driver and prepare the media.
"Ultimately, he is a dearly paid driver who costs the team a lot of money," he explained. "He doesn't bring in any points and he doesn't have the speed the team needs to develop the car. So he just costs them money.
"It would be cheaper to continue paying Ricciardo's salary, let him sit on the couch at home and put another driver in the car. It's the harsh reality, but that's Formula 1," Villeneuve said.
Former Red Bull race winner Ricciardo, 32, has not yet been seriously or speculatively linked with other F1 teams for 2023.
He is not letting the current comments about his future get him down.
"My skin is tanned, beautiful and also thick," Ricciardo smiled. "No one's going to be harder on me than myself."
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For now, I'm sure he'll get to see out his 3-year deal, but things could change if he keeps on underperforming.
Should Mclaren terminate his existing contract prematurely, I see Gasly as one possible replacement option in a certain scenario, & possibly also Pato.
However, for Ricciardo, alternative options would be effectively limited to Williams.
Gasly will have that seat.
My view too.
I see him as a viable replacement option should Mclaren terminate Ricciardo’s existing 3-year deal.
Jacques is full of bull as usual.
The fact is that we all had great expectations of Daniel when he joined McLaren, a team which is moving back up the grid. We all expected him to at least equal Llando, possible challenge Llando in qualifying and on race day. However, Daniel has lost his drive, lost his enthusiasm, lost the plot so to speak! He is not the same driver who was showing the way with great overtaking moves when he was at Red Bull, and he even did well in the developing Renault. However, since joining McLaren he has without question faded towards the rear of the grid! Daniel needs to either rediscover his motivation, or call it a day in F1 before his reputation is further damaged.
The car doesn't suit his style, but...