Unseen DTS Clip Shows Daniel Ricciardo Was Fighting a Lost Battle After Oscar Piastri Saga

Published 02/23/2023, 5:00 AM EST

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While 2023 will be a season with three drivers starting their rookie season in F1, the script of their fate was written a year earlier. The complete saga of team principals jumping ship made up for great entertainment for the fans. However, before that, it was the drivers’ transfers that were taking the world of motorsport by storm. Amidst the longest and most followed of them all was Daniel Ricciardo, and the looming uncertainty over his future. While we now know that Oscar Piastri, after a brutal tug-of-war between Alpine and McLaren, landed at the latter team, there was a time when a swap for Ricciardo was also on the cards. Netflix’s Drive to Survive, season 5, however, reveals that he was probably never the favorite.

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After growing tired of Ricciardo’s continued 2-year failure, McLaren started to look for his replacement. His fellow Australian and former F2 champion, Oscar, became the team’s number-one choice. However, Piastri was under a contract with Alpine as a reserve driver, with an assurance of a regular driver seat. As the Woking team made a move to sign him, a long legal battle ensued that ended in the Contract Regulation Board (CRB) ruling in the Papaya team’s favor.

via Reuters

As that whole saga was in its full swing, both teams extended an olive branch and discussed a swap between Daniel and Oscar. However, as it turned out, neither team wanted the Honey Badger. In the docuseries’ 7th episode, ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said, “I’d love to see him here, but that’s only because I’d love to see him stay in the sport.”

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And then Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and team principal Otmar Szafnauer celebrating Pierre Gasly’s P11 finish in the Dutch GP showed the Aussie wasn’t their first choice either.

Daniel Ricciardo is not done and dusted yet

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Soon after McLaren announced Oscar’s and Alpine announced Gasly’s signing, Ricciardo declared that he would take a year off from regular action in F1. That, he said, was important for him to gather his thoughts and realize his love for the sport once again.

via Reuters

Later, while taking a stroll with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in Zandvoort, the cameras picked up on their conversation. Daniel, while walking in the pitlane with Checo, told him that he would “take a year off, return in 2024.”

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Watch This Story: Daniel Ricciardo’s Best Moments in F1

While the Honey Badger is determined to be back, do you think an empty seat will present itself after the end of the 2023 season?

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Being a law graduate, he has worked at the Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court of Delhi. However, due to his adherent love for sports, he has now set out to start his journey into the world of Sports Journalism.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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