Despite Daniel Ricciardo’s three-year contract, Zak Brown says there are “mechanisms in which we are not” committed to seeing out the duration of the deal.
And that comes from both sides, the driver’s and McLaren’s.
Joining McLaren last season, Ricciardo signed a three-year contract that has an option for a fourth season.
But falling short of his team-mate Lando Norris’ mark, as well as McLaren’s expectations, rumours this season could be his last with the Woking team are gaining momentum.
Ricciardo has downplayed that, as well Brown’s comments about McLaren’s expectations not being met, telling the media in Monaco his skin is “tanned, beautiful and also thick“.
Daniel Ricciardo on Zak Brown's below expectations comment:
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) May 27, 2022
He also said it is “clear” he has a contract “until the end of 2023”.
Brown, though, has revealed there are clauses that allow either party to end the relationship early.
“I don’t want to get into the contract [details],” the McLaren CEO said, quoted by The Race. “But there are mechanisms in which we are committed to each other and then there are mechanisms in which we are not.
“I’ve spoken with Daniel about it. We are not getting the results we both hoped for, but we will both continue to push.
“I think he showed at Monza he can win races. We also need to continue to develop our race car – it’s not capable of winning races, but we’d like to see him further up the grid.
“We’ll just play it…I don’t want to say ‘one race at a time’ because we are not going to one race at a time, but we’ll just see how things develop, what he wants to do.”
At a time when Ricciardo is under severe pressure, the Australian did not do himself any favours when he crashed in FP2 for the Monaco Grand Prix.
He put it into the barrier at the Swimming Pool section, his session over after just 15 minutes.
“I knew everything that was happening,” he said. “I tried to save it but already kind of into Turn 13 I already started losing it.
“I can feel the car was starting to get away from me. And yeah, a little strange. I think normally you could probably pick up some stuff maybe on Turn 14 on the kerb. If you kind of get a bit too greedy then the car can get unloaded.”