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Daniel Ricciardo, sacked, Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Alpine, Mark Webber, contracts, driver market, silly season

McLaren has reportedly told Daniel Ricciardo that he will be replaced by his compatriot Oscar Piastri next season.

Several outlets, including Autosport, are reporting that Piastre has signed a contract with the Woking outfit for 2023, initially as a reserve driver, but to partner Lando Norris in the race seat once Ricciardo’s exit is organised.

Ricciardo has signed a three-year deal to leave Renault (now Alpine) in 2020 and is under contract for next year.

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RacingNews365 reports that the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board has upheld Piastri’s deal with McLaren, allowing Alpine to replace the deal it believed it had.

Ricciardo’s future in the sport has been the subject of much speculation this year as his continued struggles with machinery have left him and team-mate Lando Norris wide open.

Norris currently leads Ricciardo 76-19 in the drivers’ standings.

Officially, McLaren have backed the Australian, with CEO Zach Brown telling Fox Sports last month that Ricciardo would see a deal with the team and last month Daniel took to social media to underline his commitment to stay until his next contract expires. Season.

However, the team has been negotiating a deal behind closed doors with Alpine driver Richard Piastieri, which shows it has lost confidence in Ricciardo’s ability to turn the season around.

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The issue came after the Hungarian Grand Prix when Fernando Alonso abruptly ended his negotiations with Alpine to agree an Aston Martin contract for next season. When Alpine tried to design in a standby driver pie, the management team led by Mark Webber found it unresponsive.

Piastri took to social media to deny that he will not race for the French constructor next season, making it clear that the rumors of a McLaren move are true.

It is not clear if Ricciardo wants a car with another team and if so which teams he wants to connect with.

“I didn’t think so,” Alpine team boss Ottmar Schaffnauer said earlier this week. [it would be] Although the aging Australian will leave the French team at the end of 2020, Ricciardo has no problem joining the embattled Piastre.

According to ESPN, as many as four teams have contacted Ricciardo in recent months to gauge his interest in a change of scenery if he chooses to leave McLaren early.

It’s bittersweet news for Australian Formula 1 fans, as Ricciardo’s defeat means Piastre will finally get his full-time F1 promotion after a year as Alpine’s reserve driver.

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Piastre is one of the leading talents of his generation. The 21-year-old Melburnian has only been racing for five-and-a-half years but already has three titles to his name, including crowns in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Formula 3 and Formula 2 in consecutive years from 2019 to 2021.

Only George Russell and Charles Leclerc boast equally decorated rookie careers, both winning the GP3 and F2 championships in consecutive years.

In the year Accelerating his rise in 2020, he entered the Renault, now Alpine, driver’s academy – too fast, in fact, for Alpine, which has no F1 seats this year to promote it.

He has been forced into a reserve driver role this season, and the team intends to loan Williams out for at least the next two years in anticipation of Fernando Alonso re-signing with the team.

Alpine failed to take up the option to renew Piastri’s contract before he became a free agent, which coincided with Alonso’s sudden defection to Aston Martin, allowing him to sign with McLaren.

– with Max Laughton

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