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Brown provides update on Ricciardo's McLaren future

Daniel Ricciardo again finds himself playing catch-up with younger McLaren teammate Lando Norris, as Zak Brown plans talks for later this year.

McLaren boss Zak Brown says he will sit down for talks with Daniel Ricciardo later this year to discuss the Australian's long-term future with the team. Ricciardo is now into his second season with McLaren after making the switch from Renault at the end of 2020. His first year saw him beaten by younger teammate Lando Norris, despite securing the team's first win since 2013. So far this season, the former Red Bull driver has performed far better, his boss says, despite having failed to score points in three of the four races in 2022. With his current contract set to expire at the end of the 2023 season, McLaren will be keen to learn where Ricciardo, 32, sees his future in F1 heading.

Ricciardo is back "at the top of his game"

With Ricciardo's difficult 2021 season behind him, Brown believes the eight-time race winner is now back at the "top of his game". "His race days have been very, very strong [and] he's been much better in qualifying," said Brown, speaking to the F1 Nation podcast ahead of the Miami Grand Prix. "Listening to him earlier this week with the team, he still doesn't feel he's 10 out of 10 on top of the car, but he's got a great relationship with Lando and he knows the team well. "It was great that he was able to go back to Australia for the first time in a couple of years and recharge the batteries and see the family, so we're really happy to see Daniel on top of his game."

Brown: No rush to sit down with Ricciardo

But with McLaren boasting a trio of up-and-coming drivers from the Americas - and with the US market important for the car brand - Ricciardo is under pressure to perform or risk losing his seat. Pato O'Ward recently impressed during an F1 test run with the team, fellow IndyCar driver Colton Herta will soon get his own opportunity, and 14-year-old Ugo Ugochukwu is making his mark in the junior scene. When asked if talks over Ricciardo's long-term future would soon be held, Brown said: "Probably later this year. We have another year together. "We do like to think long out [into the future], hence why we're doing some testing with Pato, we're going to do some testing with Colton, we've got Ugo in Formula 4 who put it on pole in his first race. "I don't think you can ever plan too early, but there's no rush."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying