Daniel Ricciardo insists he’ll stay at McLaren for 2023 as speculation mounts over Alex Palou signing

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Daniel Ricciardo has denied rumors about his future, insisting he will see out his contract with McLaren and is “not walking away” from F1.

Ricciardo, who is going through a difficult 2022 season, posted on social media amid growing speculation – which intensified after McLaren made another splash in the United States by signing IndyCar champion Alex Palou for 2023.

Palou will drive for Arrow McLaren in the IndyCar series, but will also test drive with the F1 team, alongside McLaren’s IndyCar star O’Ward and highly rated American Colton Herta.

Ricciardo has a contract until the end of 2023, but McLaren have hinted at clauses to walk out of that deal early. Ricciardo, however, attempted to end exit talks on Wednesday.

“There have been a lot of rumors around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me,” said Ricciardo, who is currently 12th in the F1 championship and 47 points behind teammate Lando Norris.

“I’m committed to McLaren until the end of next year and I’m not stepping away from the sport. I appreciate that it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants it to be easy!

“I’m working my a** with the team to make improvements and get the car back where it belongs. I still want that more than ever.

The Silverstone crowd wishes Daniel Ricciardo a happy birthday as the Aussie racer turns 33 today.

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The Silverstone crowd wishes Daniel Ricciardo a happy birthday as the Aussie racer turns 33 today.

The Silverstone crowd wishes Daniel Ricciardo a happy birthday as the Aussie racer turns 33 today.

“See you soon at Le Castellet. Daniel.

Ricciardo is an eight-time F1 race winner and joined McLaren in 2021 from Renault after previous success with Red Bull.

McLaren rush to sign IndyCar star Palou

The Australian’s social media post followed the signing of Palou, who narrowly beat McLaren’s O’Ward for last year’s IndyCar title.

Palou is the second IndyCar champion McLaren has signed in a matter of months, having also confirmed Alexander Rossi.

This deal was more confusing than most as his current team Chip Ganassi Racing initially announced on Tuesday that they would exercise a team option to keep Palou, before the Spanish star refuted that on social media.

“I recently learned from the media that this afternoon, without my approval, Chip Ganassi Racing issued a press release announcing that I will be racing with CGR in 2023,” Palou wrote on Twitter.

“Even more surprising is that the CGR post included a ‘quote’ that was not mine. I did not write or endorse this quote. As I recently informed CGR, for personal reasons, I don’t intend to continue with the team after 2022.”

Daniel Ricciardo fouls Lando Norris as McLaren drivers battle it out in a space hopper race at Silverstone.

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Daniel Ricciardo fouls Lando Norris as McLaren drivers battle it out in a space hopper race at Silverstone.

Daniel Ricciardo fouls Lando Norris as McLaren drivers battle it out in a space hopper race at Silverstone.

Ganassi’s statement said they were “excited to continue working together and quoted Palou saying, ‘It’s a great feeling to know that I will continue to work with Chip Ganassi Racing next season.’

Soon after, Palou, 25, said he had other plans.

“Apart from the unfortunate events of tonight, I have great respect for the CGR team and look forward to finishing this season strong together,” Palou wrote.

McLaren CEO Zac Brown added: “We’ve always said we want the best talent at McLaren, and it’s exciting to be able to include Alex on that list.

“Alex is an incredibly talented driver who has won in every series he’s entered and I’m happy to welcome him to the McLaren family.”

Herta impresses in McLaren F1 test

Palou’s signing follows Herta’s first test with the McLaren F1 team, with the young American having driven last year’s car at Portimao on Monday and Tuesday.

Herta, 22, races for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar but has strong links with the move to F1 and is a development driver for McLaren.

“I think I’m pretty quick [for F1]“, said Herta afterwards.

“Whether they agree or not, I guess time will tell. Hopefully I can get more opportunities in the car and in the show genre.”

McLaren were suitably impressed, with team principal Andreas Seidl saying: “I have to say the team was quite impressed with the way Colton coped with all these challenges and with his professional approach.

“His physical preparation allowed him to continue throughout the two days knowing how difficult it can be in F1 on a circuit like Portimao. In the end, his approach allowed him to gradually gain pace and confidence. “

“And finding the right balance between taking risks and keeping the car on track.”

McLaren's Lando Norris returns to his first Formula 1 podium two years ago in Austria at the Red Bull Ring circuit.

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McLaren’s Lando Norris returns to his first Formula 1 podium two years ago in Austria at the Red Bull Ring circuit.

McLaren’s Lando Norris returns to his first Formula 1 podium two years ago in Austria at the Red Bull Ring circuit.

Who else is linked to Ricciardo’s siege?

Palou’s signing and Herta’s impressive test add more intrigue around Ricciardo’s future with McLaren’s F1 team.

Ricciardo has a contract for 2023 but, amid a disappointing 2022 season, McLaren admitted he was falling short of expectations and hinted he had options to end his contract early.

There would be plenty of contenders for a seat alongside Norris, and recently Oscar Piastri – last year’s F2 champion and junior Alpine driver – emerged as the favorite to replace his fellow Aussie.

But McLaren’s signings in the United States raise the prospect of bringing in an IndyCar star.

Both Herta and O’Ward have now tested a McLaren F1 car, while Palou has long been touted as a potential F1 driver.

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