Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Daniel Ricciardo demands massive pay-off to end McLaren career amid Oscar Piastri fiasco

Daniel Ricciardo has told McLaren to give him an eight-figure pay-off if they want to replace him with Oscar Piastri for next season, according to a report.

McLaren want to replace the Australian with his younger compatriot for 2023. Piastri was promoted to a race seat by Alpine after Fernando Alonso announced he would be leaving for Aston Martin, but the Formula 2 champion has other plans for his F1 debut.

Instead of sticking with the Enstone outfit, Piastri wants to join McLaren – an opportunity negotiated by his manager Mark Webber. But Ricciardo is guaranteed at least one more year after this on his current deal, and is determined to see out that contract – or at least receive a hefty payday.

According to Australian site Speedcafe, the 33-year-old is the only party with the power to cancel his contract, leaving McLaren in a tight spot. To give up his seat with the team, the report claims, Ricciardo has asked for a fee of more than £12million.

The final fee is expected to be less if both sides strike a deal, but still Ricciardo will earn millions for stepping aside to allow Piastri to race alongside Lando Norris. And even if he does, his F1 future is likely to be secure with several teams waiting to pounce.

At least four teams have been in contact with the Aussie to get a sense of his intentions in recent weeks. One of them is believed to be Alpine, who would consider bringing Ricciardo back into the fold should they end up losing Piastri to McLaren.

Snatching Piastri from Alpine could cost McLaren millions more than they had bargained for (Getty Images)

"I mean, if you look at Fernando, for example, he comes and goes, and I think that happens to other drivers too," said chief Otmar Szafnauer. "And I don't think that's an issue at all. I think what we need to focus on is, like I say, the plans that we have for the next eight or nine races.

"We've got to make sure that we complement that plan with the best driver that we can, and there are some options out there for us. And we put the best driver in next to Esteban [Ocon], so that we can move forward towards what we've been planning."

As for Piastri, the whole saga is set to go to court with both teams confident they have a valid contract with the racer. If Alpine can indeed prove they have the right to promote their reserve to a race seat next year, then McLaren could be on the hook for another huge payout if Piastri decides to break that deal.

Related Stories
Daniel Ricciardo was "expected to kick a**" as F1 star opens up on McLaren nightmare
Ricciardo has a contract with McLaren until the end of next season, but nevertheless his F1 future is shrouded in mystery with the team eager to replace him with wantaway Alpine racer Oscar Piastri
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Why Piastri's attempt to join McLaren carries implications of risk
After the 2006 Formula 1 British GP, Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony was a frustrated man, despite his son - at the time a star in GP2 - having just scored a memorable double win in that weekend's feature and sprint events.
Why Piastri's F1 attempt to join McLaren has risky implications
After the 2006 Formula 1 British GP, Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony was a frustrated man, despite his son - at the time a star in GP2 - had just scored a memorable double win in that weekend's feature and sprint events.
Esteban Ocon backed to lead Alpine in 2023 amid ongoing Oscar Piastri uncertainty
Alpine will lose F1's most experienced racer in Fernando Alonso at the end of the year, and his replacement is currently unknown after Oscar Piastri turned down his promotion
Oscar Piastri standoff turns ugly as Alpine chief slams star for lack of loyalty
Otmar Szafnauer spoke honestly about Alpine's current battle with reserve driver Piastri, and claimed there is a long line of drivers ready to replace him if he chooses to leave
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
F1 news: Alpine prepared for High Court battle over Oscar Piastri feud in quest for compensation
Alpine have vowed to go to the High Court as they seek compensation for Oscar Piastri’s decision not to race for the Formula One team in 2023.