BAKU – Under pressure, Australian Daniel Ricciardo said on Friday he had spoken to McLaren boss Jack Brown and felt he had the full support of the team in speculation surrounding his Formula One future with former champions.
The 32-year-old moved to McLaren from Renault last season and his contract runs until the end of 2023.
But his struggle to hold on to the Oaking-based team’s car continues into the second season, raising questions about whether he will see the length of his contract.
The speculation intensified after Brown confirmed the existence of an exit clause in the Ricardo deal at the same weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix in the Indy 500 two weeks ago, when it was announced that McLaren’s Indica team had extended their contract with F1 candidate Pato O’Word.
“Yeah, so, first we talked, we made a catch up,” Ricardo told reporters at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“It is clear that we are moving forward, my contract with the team is clear by the end of next year, I am fully committed.
“My team has full support and we want to do it together,” he added.
Ricciardo, the eight-time Grand Prix winner who gave McLaren his first win since the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012 in Manza, Italy, has scored just two points this season, one of which was in the sprint race at Saturday’s Emola.
Fellow Lando Norris, who beat Ricciardo last season and was given a new contract this season extending to the end of 2025, has so far finished a podium and six points from seven races, including Emola ‘Spint’.
Ricciardo, who twice finished third in the overall drivers’ position when racing for the Red Bull, said he did not read too much into Brown’s comments and his confidence was intact.
“I think I’m getting it back. I still know what I can do. I still believe I have it,” he said.
“It’s not a place for low self-esteem or low self-esteem. I think everything in this game works at such a high level and if something is out of tune it can be effective.
“So it’s really up to me to get back to where I’m in perfect harmony with the car and then come back.”
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