McLaren chief issues update on Daniel Ricciardo’s future with key admission

McLaren CEO Zak Brown is insistent that there is no rush on Daniel Ricciardo's future but admitted that the team are also considering other options to potentially take a seat alongside Lando Norris.

The Australian is in his second season with McLaren but is yet to display his best form consistently for the team, with issues continuing this season that have seen him continue to be off the pace of his teammate Norris.

While Norris is tied down to a long-term deal with the team, Ricciardo's future is under speculation with his current agreement due to expire at the end of 2023 and there have also been rumours that a new direction could be looked at.

Asked about Ricciardo's position in the team and when discussions would take place, Brown was coy about what avenue McLaren would go down and made it clear there was 'no rush' for a decision to be made, as they weigh up the options that are ahead of them.

"Probably later this year. We have another year together, we do like to think long out, hence doing some testing with Pato [O'Ward], we’re going to do some testing with Colton [Herta], we’ve got Ugo [Ugochukwu] in Formula 4, who put it on pole at his first race. So, I don’t think you can ever plan too early, but there’s no rush," he told the F1 Nation podcast.

Despite Ricciardo's issues this season, which saw him finish outside the points at Imola after a crash with Carlos Sainz on the opening lap, Brown believes improvements are being shown in comparison to his first year on the grid with McLaren.

"His race days have been very strong, much better in qualifying. Listening to him earlier this week with the team, I think he still doesn’t feel he’s 10 out of 10 on top of the car, but he has got a great relationship with Lando, he knows the team well.

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"It was great he was able to go back to Australia for the first time in a couple of years and recharge the batteries and see the family, so we’re really happy to see Daniel on top of his game."

Ricciardo has been outshone by Norris again so far this season, finishing behind his teammate in the last three races and outside of the points on three out of four occasions.

McLaren themselves had difficulties at the beginning of the campaign but have responded valiantly, with Norris securing the team's first podium of the season last time out at Imola.

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