Daniel Ricciardo does not take any of what is happening with Oscar Piastri and his manager Mark Webber personally.
It is now confirmed that Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of the 2022 season, a year before his contract was due to expire, having struggled for form since joining the team ahead of the 2021 campaign.
The announcement came after Oscar Piastri rejected Alpine’s move to place him in a race seat for 2023, the Aussie believed to have signed a deal with McLaren in a case that has gone to Formula 1’s Contract Recognition Board.
Piastri, Ricciardo’s fellow Aussie, is managed by another Australian in the form of Mark Webber, who achieved nine wins during his Formula 1 career.
Ricciardo made it clear though that he does not take any of what has happened personally, he knows this is all just business.
“I honestly still don’t know what the future holds for Oscar, but yeah, I mean, from the terms of that, it’s just business,” said Ricciardo. “And obviously Mark’s just doing his job for Oscar. So, I don’t take any of that personal.
“Assuming Oscar… I think he is kind of guaranteed a spot on the grid next year somewhere. So, I will support him, and I will support a fellow Aussie and yeah, I don’t take it personal.”
Ricciardo was also asked if he had heard from either Piastri or Webber while this situation has been going on? He has not, but does not see any reason for them to contact him.
“Have I heard from him? No,” said Ricciardo. “I don’t think there’s been a reason for him to reach out. I said, I’m sure they’re going through their stuff as well. So yeah, I’ve obviously been trying to sort my stuff out.”
It was then pointed out to Ricciardo that online Piastri, Webber and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown have faced a fair bit of backlash, especially from Australian fans, with a lot of people putting their support behind Ricciardo.
Ricciardo though, while glad to hear he has support, said he could not condone any negativity being aimed at others.
“Well, I’m not going to tell them not to support me!” Ricciardo stated. “But yeah, look, as I touched on earlier with a previous question, people will feel, I guess, emotional towards the decision. But it’s business, in terms of… As I said, Mark’s looking out for Oscar, he’s got a job to do for him.
“So, you know, that’s where this is… It’s a sport, but business at the same time, so you have to kind of put yourself first, if you will. And that’s that. It’s certainly not the outcome I wanted, and when I joined the team, I had a much different idea of how it would go. But it’s the reality of the situation. And obviously, that’s where Zak and the team felt like it was going so that was that.
“But yeah, happy to have the support, but I don’t want to condone any negative feelings towards others.”