Not even an early Formula 1 exit can wipe Daniel Ricciardo’s trademark grin off his face while on summer holiday.
WA’s F1 ace has been at the center of a motorsport storm this week with reports his McLaren contract would be sensationally terminated early in favor of young Victorian-born racing star Oscar Piastri.
But it has not affected the overtake magician’s summer plans, posting a happy, sun-filled snap to Instagram from the pool.
The star looks relaxed, lounging in the water surrounded by palm trees.
The caption simply reads: “Hello ☀”
But Ricciardo’s return to the track on August 26 in Belgium will be anything but calm, with the Aussie in the middle of his second straight season of disappointment at McLaren, struggling with a car that can’t compete with the top teams.
The man from Duncraig sits 12th in the Driver’s Standings with a paltry 19 points from 13 race starts, while British teammate Lando Norris sits 7th with 76 points.
Ricciardo put out a heartfelt message on Twitter earlier in the season affirming his commitment to seeing out his contract at McLaren, but the star may not be given a chance.
An early announcement during the silly season of driver swaps from team Alpine said Piastri, who won the F3 and F2 titles back-to-back before getting a gig as a test driver for Alpine, would drive for them next season, replacing F1 rockstar Fernando Alonso, who is moving to Aston Martin to fill retiring Sebastian Vettel’s seat, but the 21-year-old denied the claim.
Reports say there are clauses in Ricciardo’s contract that could allow him to leave the team if it was underperforming to his standards – not the other way round.
If he was to leave, he could also reunite with Alpine, the former Renault team he left for McLaren at the end of 2020.