Shock Daniel Ricciardo 'rumour' sparks worrying F1 doubts

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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F1 McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) reacts during a press conference.
Veteran F1 reporter Joe Saward claimed rumours swirl that McLaren could bring in Colta Hert for Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) before 2024. (Getty Images)

A veteran F1 reporter has claimed Daniel Ricciardo's career at McLaren could be in danger after rumours he could be replaced before the end of his contract swirl.

The Aussie McLaren driver has endured a tough start to 2022 having suffered with Covid before the season even started.

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He has only collected points once this season at the Australian GP, to go with a 14th in Bahrain, DNF in Saudi Arabia and 18th in Imola.

Ricciardo finished 8th in the Championship for McLaren last year and remains a fan favourite.

However, there are concerns he won't better that result after his latest crash with Carlos Sainz at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

While Ricciardo joked he 'hated' apologising to Sainz, veteran F1 reporter Joe Saward didn't appear to be joking when he claimed there were rumours young IndyCar driver Colton Herta is in contention to grab a spot at McLaren.

In his column, Saward claimed rumours are swirling that Ricciardo could be replaced by Herta in 2024 (if not before).

"Australians are pretty excited about F1 at the moment, although Daniel Ricciardo seems a little lost at McLaren and there continue to be rumours that in 2024 (if not earlier) Daniel will be replaced by Colton Herta, the American who Zak Brown believes could open the gates of Formula 1 to corporate America," Saward wrote.

Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia.
Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) has been the centre of rumours over his McLaren contact, according to Joe Saward. (Photo by Clay Cross ATPImages/Getty Images)

"We will have to see if Herta has everything needed to be an F1 star, but he seems to have the speed, whether he can go on being a drummer in a rock band called Zibs in his spare time remains to be seen, as F1 is a full time job."

Herta is expected to give the McLaren car a run this year under his deal.

Unfortunately, Ricciardo's time at McLaren has been a roller coaster with the Aussie driver dealing with technical issues and a number of mistakes on his part.

One of the biggest talking points is consistently finishing behind younger teammate Lando Norris.

However, McLaren boss Zak Brown claimed at the beginning of the season that Ricciardo would see out his contract.

Daniel Ricciardo jokes about Sainz apology

Sainz's race at Emilia Romagna Grand Prix only lasted two and a half corners after he was spun into the gravel by Ricciardo and left beached.

The safety car was quickly deployed as Sainz, spun around and facing Ricciardo, was forced to retire.

Following the race, Ricciardo was spotted visiting the Ferrari driver's team to apologise for the mistake.

Since the disaster, the Aussie appeared on Trevor Noah's talk show and was how he was able to put his pride away and keep a cordial relationship with his rivals in such an intense sport.

And Ricciardo joked that it wasn't that easy.

“I hated every second of the apology,” Ricciardo joked, before explaining the reasoning behind the apology.

“Probably just with experience and being in it (F1) for so long, I have the maturity to know how much we all put into it and as competitive as we are, we all have something strongly in common.

“There’s only 20 of us in the world that do it, there’s only 20 F1 drivers. You respect everyone’s journey.

“The incident — if I hold myself accountable for something — then I feel like I want to apologise. It’s nothing personal.

“I don’t think everyone would do it but for me, I felt better by doing it so we (can have a) clean slate for the next one."

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