McLaren in Ricciardo exit talks before Piastri announcement

McLaren is in negotiations with Daniel Ricciardo about his departure from the team and trying to facilitate a move to another Formula 1 outfit before it announces Oscar Piastri’s arrival.

RACER understands McLaren feels it has a valid contract with Piastri for 2023 after Alpine failed to complete formalities within the timeframe it was required to when signing the Australian to his reserve contract for 2022. The McLaren contract was finalized prior to any mooted July 31 deadline, making such a date irrelevant to Piastri’s move or Fernando Alonso’s switch to Aston Martin.

Piastri’s management team includes former F1 driver Mark Webber, who enjoys a close relationship with McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl having raced for the German at Porsche in the World Endurance Championship from 2014-16.

Having secured Piastri’s services, McLaren is now working on financial terms to buy out the remainder of Ricciardo’s contract for next season, but also wants to try and make sure Ricciardo lands at another team, with the ideal scenario a seat swap with his fellow Australian at Alpine.

Prior to Piastri making his position clear, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer had suggested there would be no issue with Ricciardo returning to the team he left at the end of 2020 from a working point of view.

It is understood Ricciardo is not currently interested in a full-time switch to IndyCar, as he has previously stated he is not a fan of racing on ovals. McLaren is in an ongoing dispute over Alex Palou’s future in IndyCar but it is believed the Piastri situation is likely to be settled before the dispute in the United States is resolved.