Why Daniel Ricciardo needs to have a good race in Baku

It’s time for Daniel Ricciardo to shine

By: Leona Stewart

Moving to Mclaren in 2021 seemed to be Daniel Ricciardo’s big break. A team at the top of the midfield, with a car that could fight for the championship and an exciting young teammate – he couldn’t ask for much more. 

2021 was not a great start for Ricciardo, only making it onto the podium once, for an iconic race win in Monza, alongside his teammate Lando Norris in second place. Finishing eighth in the drivers championship, two places behind his teammate, the Aussie driver said he needed time to get used to the car.

Now the time has passed and we are well and truly on our way into the new season and era, but Ricciardo is not matching his teammate, nor is he even close.

While Mclaren is currently not the best of the rest, they’re not far off the mark, sitting fourth in the constructors behind Mercedes – so realistically Daniel should have the tools to be doing well. However, with the same amount of time in a brand new car, young Lando is still delivering far more. 

Monaco has been the Honey Badgers’ redemption in the past, having won there in 2018, but this year he couldn’t even pull the car into the points finishing p13, Norris claimed P6 and fastest lap all whilst recovering from Tonsillitis. 

If Ricciardo can’t bring himself out of this slump, his future with Mclaren, and even Formula 1, could be gone. 

Prior to last weekend in Monte Carlo, Mclaren team principal Zak Brown had expressed his disappointment in Daniels performance during his time with the team and confirmed that despite his contract being in place until 2023, there is an option to end it early. 

With the rumors of his exit from Mclaren growing louder, the conversation of where Ricciardo could go begins. Having already raced for Red Bull, Alpha Tauri(Toro Rosso), and a damaged relationship with Alpine(Renault), options are slim. As he is not exactly performing in the Mclaren, the few spaces that are unconfirmed are unlikely to call his name. 

As we head to Baku next week, almost halfway through the season, it is vital Daniel Ricciardo gets a good race. To not only show Mclaren he is what they want, but to prove to fans and other teams that the Honey Badger has still got it. 

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