Ex F1 star says rumours Daniel Ricciardo will be SACKED by McLaren are ‘getting louder’ after Aussie had yet another miserable race in Monaco
Former Formula One stars Ralf Schumacher and Nico Rosberg believe Daniel Ricciardo could lose his job at McLaren after yet another disappointing result.
The Australian finished 13th at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, a fittingly disappointing end to a weekend that saw him crash in practice and starting 14th after failing to make it into the final qualifying session on Saturday.
A winner on the tortuous street circuit in the Principality in 2018 – one of only three Australians to ever win in Monaco along with Jack Brabham and Mark Webber – Ricciardo struggled for pace throughout the race.
Daniel Ricciardo endured another miserable weekend in Monaco, finishing 13th on Sunday
Monaco was the third straight GP in which Ricciardo failed to score a point
‘We knew today was going to be tough, obviously being Monaco, results are heavily based on qualifying so yesterday really shaped the weekend,’ he said.
The result will do little to dispel rumours McLaren are already planning for life without Ricciardo, who has finished in the points just twice this season – in the Australian GP and in the sprint race at the Emilia Romagna GP.
Schumacher, a six-time GP winner during 10 years in Formula 1, suggested McLaren could move on from the Australian before next season unless results improved dramatically.
Ralf Schumacher (left) believes Ricciardo could lose his job before next season, while Nico Rosberg (right) conceded the Australian had to start delivering results soon
‘The rumours [about Ricciardo’s future] as well as the statements in the team, are getting louder. He’s just too far away from his teammate [Lando Norris],’ the brother of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher told Sky Germany.
‘I’m curious how the future looks for him. It will be quite difficult for him. […] If it stays the way it is now, I don’t see him at McLaren next year.’
Ricciardo is under contract with McLaren until the end of 2023 season and team boss Zak Brown said earlier this month the team was ‘in no rush’ to make a decision over the Australian’s future.
Ahead of the Monaco GP, however, Brown conceded Ricciardo had not met expectations.
Ricciardo qualified 14th and struggled for pace throughout the entire weekend
The 32-year-old crashed during the second practice session on Friday
‘Lando definitely has an edge,’ the McLaren CEO told Sky Sports. ‘We obviously would like to see Daniel much closer to Lando and have a good inter-team battle.
‘Daniel is just not comfortable yet with the car. We are trying everything we can. […] Short of Monza [where Ricciardo won last year] and a few races, it has not met his or our expectations.’
As Brown noted, Ricciardo’s struggles are compounded by Norris’ consistency. The Briton finished sixth on Sunday and has outscored his teammate in all but two races so far this season, racking up 48 points to his teammate’s 11.
McLaren boss Zak Brown has warned Ricciardo he has not met expectations
Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, suggested the situation was unlikely to get any easier for Ricciardo.
‘It is a tough situation for Daniel with Zak Brown publicly saying he’s not living up to expectations,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘So it’s very important for Daniel, the next couple of races to do a really good job. This is the difficult thing for Daniel. Lando, he is driving world class level. He is a future world champion. he is driving incredibly well and that’s making it all the more difficult in this situation.’