Daniel Ricciardo F1 future under threat as McLaren could hijack Williams’ plan for rookie

F1 preview: A lap of the Austrian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo could be replaced at McLaren by rookie Australian star Oscar Piastri, according to Ted Kravitz. Kravitz warned Piastri’s manager, former F1 star Mark Webber, is looking at whether he can slot the Australian rookie into Ricciardo’s seat next season.

Piastri stormed to the title in Formula Three and Formula Two over successive seasons but failed to land an F1 drive for this season. Reports last month suggested Piastri was close to signing a deal with Williams for a 2023 seat.

However, the 21-year-old may find he has a chance at McLaren if Ricciardo’s results don’t substantially improve over the second half of the season. Speaking on Ted’s Notebook, Kravitz said: “There are lots of rumours around as to why, as sort of signposted in the notebook back in Imola, Oscar Piastri, the Alpine reserve, has not signed for Williams.

“Could the delay be that he and his manager Mark Webber, yes that Mark Webber, are looking at potentially replacing Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren despite as we said on the Notebook maybe in Canada or before, Ricciardo looking like he was going to stay, hold on to his seat for 2023. But as every race goes by and points and performance fail to really come in for Daniel Ricciardo.

“Maybe it looks more like, actually, McLaren will come in with a late offer for Oscar Piastri and nick him from under Williams’ nose and offer him Daniel Ricciardo’s seat for 2023. That is just talk around the paddock. We know not much more about what is going on behind the smoked glass here at this motorhome. But, just keeping you up to date with some of the rumours around.

“Obviously, that would leave Daniel Ricciardo maybe going to drive for McLaren somewhere else in one of their other racing series or doing something else altogether. But, yeah good luck to Danny Ric as he continues to, well as someone once said, drive to survive in Formula One.”

McLaren boss Zak Brown piled the pressure on Ricciardo earlier on this season, suggesting the former Red Bull and Renault star could well lose his drive with the team.

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The team principal spoke openly ahead of Austria about the situation at the team, reiterating they were not “where [they] want to be” with Ricciardo. He explained: “I know it caused a lot of ripples outside [but] Daniel and I have a great relationship. We had dinner in London not too long after that. We are trading WhatsApps all the time.

“Someone asked me a question and I gave an honest answer. It’s the same answer Daniel has given and would give, which is that we are not where we want to be.”

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