F1: Daniel Ricciardo confirmed at McLaren for the 2021 season
McLaren has announced that Daniel Ricciardo will drive for the team beginning in 2021, with the Australian driver having signed a multi-year contract with the Woking-based squad.
The 30-year old driver, who has seven Formula 1 wins to his name, will join Lando Norris at the team. Ricciardo will replace Carlos Sainz at McLaren.
Speaking of Ricciardo joining the McLaren squad, Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing stated, "Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando. This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans."
Daniel Ricciardo, seen here celebrating his win at the 2018 Monaco GP, will leave Renault and join McLaren at the start of the 2021 season, having signed a multi-year contract with the team
Brown also thanked the potentially Ferrari-bound Sainz, saying, "I also want to pay tribute to Carlos for the excellent job he has been doing for McLaren in helping our performance recovery plan. He is a real team player and we wish him well for his future beyond McLaren."
Meanwhile, Andreas Seidl, team principal, McLaren F1, said, "Daniel is a proven race-winner and his experience, commitment and energy will be a valuable addition to McLaren and our mission to return to the front of the field. With Daniel and Lando as teammates, I believe we have two racers who will continue to excite our fans and help the team grow. Carlos is a true professional, a pleasure to work with and we will continue to enjoy going racing with him this year. We all wish him good luck for the next stage in his career when he leaves McLaren."
Ricciardo's departure from Renault will mark the end of his two-year stint with the team
Ricciardo has been part of the Formula 1 grid since he drove for HRT in 2011. The Australian driver, from Perth, then spent two years driving for Toro Rosso, after which he made a switch to Red Bull Racing for five years. He took three of his seven F1 wins in his first year with the team in 2014, and also finished third in the Driver's Championship that year. Ricciardo finished third in the championship once again in the 2016 season. Since the beginning of the 2019 season, he has driven for the Renault outfit.
Ricciardo's departure from Renault was confirmed in a short statement the team released. It read: "Within the unprecedented context of the 2020 season, discussions held with Daniel Ricciardo concerning a renewal of his contract beyond the end of 2020 have not been successful."
Cyril Abiteboul, team principal of Renault, stated, "In our sport, and particularly within the current extraordinary situation, reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team. I am confident that the 2020 season will allow us to accomplish even more together. Our ambitions and the strategy of Renault DP World F1 Team remain unchanged."
Carlos Sainz, who Ricciardo will replace at McLaren, is expected to join Ferrari in 2021, after Sebastian Vettel announced his decision to leave the team at the end of the 2020 season.