It’s been a tough season for McLaren F1, but especially for Daniel Ricciardo. The fan favorite, who climbed to the podium of the Italian Grand Prix last year, is going to leave the team at the end of the season. But his replacement was solved.
On Friday, Formula 1 confirmed that Oscar Piastri will replace Ricciardo at McLaren in 2023. Piastri is the current Formula 2 champion and spent the 2022 season as a reserve driver at Alpine.
But despite Alpine’s hopes that he would join their team in 2022, Piastri publicly rebuffed them and refused to sign a contract with Alpine. This decision caused a heated discussion between Piastri’s supporters and Alpine’s top management.
The end result was that Piastri joined one of Alpine’s biggest rivals, teaming up with Lando Norris to form one of the youngest duos in Formula 1.
Oscar Piastri is one of the fastest rising stars of open—wheel racing (no pun intended). For 24 races in Formula 2, he won six races, five poles, six fastest laps and 11 times climbed the podium.
A year earlier, Piastri won the Formula 3 championship. In 2019, he won the Formula Renault European Cup.
For Daniel Ricciardo, this move leaves his future in Formula 1 uncertain. There are five seats in the line-up that are not yet filled between Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, Alpine, Haas and Williams.
Ricciardo will be the only driver other than the incomparable Lewis Hamilton who has driven a McLaren car to victory over the past decade.