Big money for Ricciardo
McLaren probably wants to clear the way for Oscar Piastri, who is not interested in taking over Fernando Alonso's seat at Alpine. For that, the team from Woking had to buy out Ricciardo's contract, which cost a lot of money according to Brown. The McLaren boss saw no other option than to end the Australian's contract early.
"I don't think we could have done something differently to make him more competitive," the American stated. "We tried all that. I think we've had to end the relationship early, we've had to write a big cheque. Which is fine, because that's the deal that we cut."
The whole situation with Ricciardo represented a learning moment for Brown. "I think what I'll do different next time is maybe have some more performance protections for us. And not just assume that a great driver can always be great," said the McLaren CEO.