Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed that he has a contract with McLaren that runs until the end of the 2023 season, as he clarified his situation following some confusion over the exact nature of his deal with the team.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently expressed some disappointment with how Ricciardo's performances have failed to take a step forward in 2022 after a tough 2021 season.
With the length of Ricciardo's contract somewhat unclear – in regards to whether it is a straightforward three-year deal (until the end of 2023), or a '2+1' arrangement which would see Ricciardo and McLaren have to reach an agreement again for next year – the Australian confirmed that there should be no further contract negotiations in 2022.
Ricciardo clarifies his contract
"It's a three-year [deal], so [until] the end of 2023. Let's say that," Ricciardo told media, including RacingNews365.com, ahead of the Monaco weekend.
As to why there had been some confusion over the issue, Ricciardo said he'd gotten his own years mixed up when speaking to media, explaining: "It's clear – I've got a contract until the end of 2023 – COVID messed me up so I just get confused with the years!"
Asked for his thoughts on his bosses' comments regarding his own performances, Ricciardo said he couldn't really argue with Brown's assessment of the situation.
"Well, it's not false - it's pretty true!" he said.
"Firstly – comments, I don't take personally. My skin is tanned, beautifully and also thick. But it hasn't. No-one's gonna be harder on me than myself. I know that I don't want to be racing around 10th to 12th places.
"I still believe I can be at the front
and belong at the front. So it's certainly been a little bit more
testing at times in terms of trying to get up and maximise
myself in this car.
"We're working together hard at it. The team wants it, I want it so we're just working through it."
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Ricciardo: I wants to exploit "all my potential"
Ricciardo arrives in Monaco eager to find some form at a track where he won in convincing fashion in 2018, as well as just missing out on the 2017 victory.
However, the 2021 race was one of the lowest points of his year last season, with Ricciardo being lapped by teammate Lando Norris.
Returning to the scene of some of his highest highs, Ricciardo said he's eager to get the weekend underway.
"It's definitely a track where you can have like the power in your hands to do so [make a difference]," he commented.
"It's one where, if you're at one with the car and you have that
confidence, it can turn into something pretty special around here.
"So [I'm] looking forward to trying to exploit all of my potential."
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