Daniel Ricciardo breaks silence as F1 fans tear into ‘backstabbing’ McLaren

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Daniel Ricciardo has become an unwitting pawn in the F1 driver saga that is dominating the summer break.

The chaos began when Sebastian Vettel announced he would be retiring from the sport at the end of the season. A few days later, Fernando Alonso confirmed he would be replacing the German at Aston Martin on a long-term contract.

The news shocked Alonso’s current team, Alpine, who then announced that their reserve driver, Oscar Piastri, would be replacing the Spaniard. However, Piastri quickly dismissed that statement, insisting he would not be driving for the Renault-backed squad next season.

Piastri, managed by former F1 driver Mark Webber, is widely believed to have held talks with McLaren and may even have signed a race deal with the Woking squad to replace Ricciardo, who is still contracted to the team for 2023. Despite that contract, Ricciardo was reportedly told over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend that McLaren intends to replace him, with talks said to be ongoing over a financial settlement.

READ MORE: Alpine boss blasts Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri as contract dispute rumbles on

More than a week into the saga, Ricciardo has taken to social media to post a picture flashing his trademark smile while in a swimming pool with the word “Hello”, suggesting he is relaxed about the situation.

One man who won’t be relaxed is Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer, who has openly talked about the Piastri situation, insisting the team’s contract with the 21-year-old is watertight amid McLaren’s interest. In contrast, McLaren has remained silent on the issue, while continuing with its regular social media posts, a mixture of light-hearted imagery and merchandise advertising, including Ricciardo clothing.

However, the every-is-normal stance hasn’t gone down with some McLaren fans, who are unhappy about the treatment of Ricciardo. One post in particular, a cartoon of what Ricciardo and Lando Norris would be up to if they were on holiday together, attracted criticism.

Do you think Daniel Ricciardo has been treated unfairly? Have your say in the comments section below.

“The pictures don't feature McLaren knives in Daniels back. Not very realistic!,” raged one. Another added: “Stop posting this stuff, it's so disingenuous while you're treating Danny like c***. How about some transparency about Piastri, and just showing Danny some respect?!”

A third suggested they could no longer support the team, posting: “As a lifelong Macca fan whose named his Son after 2 of our World Champions, I'm truly disgusted with the way you're acting as if everything is OK. Your treatment of Daniel Ricciardo #DR3 is truly disgusting, and I expected better from our team. He's the [only] McLaren driver to win a race since 2012 and this is how you treat him?

“I can't support a 2 faced backstabbing team, and the way you've gone about this will probably lose you even more fans. You need to come clean and make a statement soon because this whole situation is a farce. I really expected more from you McLaren. You've certainly changed and not for the better.”

Another said: “Bruce McLaren [the team’s founder] was a true gentleman with integrity. He would turn in his grave right now with how his name is being dragged through the mud! Shame on you Zak [Brown] and the rest of management.”

On a similar theme, one fan posted: “Lost a lot of respect for McLaren after how they’ve treated Danny Ric. He’s had a shocker of a season but jeez he doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does. Have a little class McLaren.”

Another urged the team to come clean, writing: “McLaren, [it's] seriously time for you to release a statement with regards to what has occurred this last week. If you are taking Oscar we want to know and I am sure Daniel would want to know too.”


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