McLaren offered Ricciardo IndyCar ride before F1 exit was agreed


McLaren boss Zak Brown said the team spoke with outgoing Daniel Ricciardo about him moving to its IndyCar team


Zak Brown has revealed McLaren put forward IndyCar as an option for Ricciardo before split was announced


McLaren boss Zak Brown has revealed that the team offered outgoing driver Daniel Ricciardo an IndyCar ride in a bid to keep him on its roster, after admitting the Australian’s results in its F1 team “weren’t what we hoped for”.

Aside from a win at last year’s Italian GP, Ricciardo has endured one and a half largely miserable seasons at Woking, so much so that both parties have agreed to terminate his three-year contract a season early.

Under Brown’s leadership, McLaren has expanded its racing activities to now include an IndyCar squad, an Extreme E team and from next year have a presence in Formula E too.

In exploring options for the future whilst Ricciardo struggled in grand prix racing, the McLaren boss said switching to the US’s leading single-seater championship was put on the table.


Ricciardo ultimately opted against making a jump Stateside


Keeping Ricciardo in the McLaren ‘family’ may have also saved the team money, as it will now likely have to pay-off Ricciardo to not see out the final year of his contract.

“Yes, we spoke about that,” he said when asked if IndyCar was an option. “As Andreas [Seidl] said, he’s an exceptional racing driver and any team that he drives for is so privileged to have Daniel drive for them, and we do have a variety of racing activities.

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“But, that being said, he’s very focused on on Formula 1.”

Whilst Brown stressed the split had been amicable, he emphasised that the team had made it clear the results weren’t good enough.

“I would say we’ve been very open and transparent with Daniel throughout his entire time here at McLaren,” he said.

“I think he understands that we weren’t able to put together the results that we’d hoped for. He’s been around motor racing his entire life. So he understands this and is as disappointed as we are that it didn’t work out.”

Seidl admitted that the team also has to take responsibility in the failure of getting Ricciardo up to speed.


Ricciardo will now leave the McLaren team completely at the end of the 2022 season


“In the end, we have to acknowledge that despite all the commitment and effort, despite both sides putting in so much work, we didn’t manage [it].

“That’s why we came to the decision that we wanted to make a change for next year and mutually agreed together with Daniel that we terminate the contract early at the end of this year.

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“It’s clearly not the outcome that we were all looking for, but at the same time it’s important now to switch our focus towards the next nine races together and give it all again as a team.”

McLaren is currently locked in a fierce battle with Alpine for fourth in the constructors’ championship, but Ricciardo’s team-mate Lando Norris is contributing far more to the fight, currently having over three times the amount of points the Australian does.

Seidl was uncompromising when he said what would be expected of Norris new team-mate next year, adding that it needed to keep on developing its idiosyncratic MCL36 into a faster car.

“I’d say the objective that we’re having here is two drivers that always manage to extract the maximum from the package we can give them – that’s the ultimate goal,” the German said.

“I think it’s also important to state that we’re also aware – independent of the driver line-up – that we make sure we keep going on our positive journey in order to develop [and] in the end, give these guys a better car because that is what you’re looking for. We want to keep moving forward towards the front in Formula 1 in the next few years.”