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Why Daniel Ricciardo does and does not belong in Formula 1

Why Daniel Ricciardo does and does not belong in Formula 1

5 June - 20:16 Last update: 21:40


Rumors are growing stronger and stronger that McLaren will say goodbye to Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the season. The Australian is said to be on the verge of retirement due to his disappointing results at the English team, making his future in Formula 1 suddenly very uncertain. GPblog lists the arguments why Ricciardo does and does not belong in Formula 1.

The Reasons For

Ricciardo is one of the friendliest and most beloved drivers in the paddock. Always he is in for a joke or a kind word. Moreover, Ricciardo is a great signboard for the sport. Not all drivers are equally well known, but the veteran driver has an unprecedented popularity. A Formula 1 without Ricciardo, it is hard to fathom.

Yes, his performance is disappointing. But didn't they do that initially at Renault (later Alpine) too? Ricciardo had to get used to the team, to the car. But eventually he came out on top, eventually giving Alpine its first podium in many years. Then-team boss Cyril Abiteboul will remember it forever, thinking of the tattoo he subsequently had to get after a bet with Ricciardo.

Suppose Ricciardo is pushed aside, who will succeed him? Colton Herta perhaps? The IndyCars star has long been seen as a future Formula 1 driver. But is he really fast enough? Can he handle the pressure of Formula 1? Being a top driver in America is by no means a guarantee that he will be one in Formula 1. There are plenty of experts who doubt whether it would be wise to bring Hertha to F1. From Ricciardo you at least know what he can potentially do.

Besides, Ricciardo can't have lost his feeling to racing, can he? He won Grands Prix with Red Bull, he was a formidable teammate of Max Verstappen? At some point the penny should drop his way

The Reasons Against

Unfortunately, time is always an important factor in Formula 1. No doubt better times will come. But does McLaren want to wait for that? Can McLaren wait for that? The stakes are so high that the answer to that last question is a resounding "no. In the battle for fourth place in the constructors' championship - and the prize money that goes with it - the team needs two drivers who score points structurally. Last season Ricciardo did not perform consistently, although he won the race at Monza. Another season like that, and possibly a third disappointing year, is something McLaren cannot afford.

Ricciardo is not getting any younger. It's no secret that the older you get, the more effort it takes to deliver a top performance. That's part of life. For one person this is a development that starts around the age of 40, for another earlier. Possibly Ricciardo belongs to the group where the decline has started. Moreover, there are those many young dogs in Formula 1 who attack the established order without hesitation.

Maybe McLaren should take the gamble of putting Hertha in the car. Or Oscar Piastri. You don't know if they can handle the level, but at the moment McLaren can't rely on Ricciardo either. Maybe they drive at the back. But that's what Ricciardo is doing right now.

The Australian is also in a negative spiral. It takes a lot of work and strength to get back on track. The question is whether Ricciardo is still capable of doing so, when he is constantly being outperformed by teammate Lando Norris.

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