F1 Pundit Believes Daniel Ricciardo Has a Mercedes/Red Bull Exit Clause in McLaren Contract

Published 03/23/2021, 7:02 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Daniel Ricciardo made the interesting move of joining McLaren from French team Renault for the upcoming season. He joins the upwardly mobile British team, which has made a key change of switching from Renault power units to the best in class Mercedes engines. However, many people wonder whether the Aussie has taken a big gamble in signing a three-year contract with them.

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F1 pitlane reporter and analyst, Ted Kravitz believes the Australian has an exit clause in his contract.

McLaren have made smart decisions since the change in management behind the scenes in 2017. Their appointment of team principal Andreas Seidl gave the team an important impetus in moving up the table. The expectation is that the team will continue its ascent up the table in 2021. This would vindicate the Australian’s decision to join them.

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Ted Kravitz believes Daniel Ricciardo could have an exit clause in his Mclaren contract

In the podcast, In the Fast Lane, Ted Kravitz was asked about the length of the contract signed by Ricciardo at McLaren. Kravitz dropped a speculative bombshell saying, “I would be staggered if there wasn’t a clause in that contract that says if Red Bull or Mercedes have a space for me, then I would go.

“Because clearly he’s in the business now of getting in a car that can challenge for a world championship. I don’t think anyone doubts that he would be able to put a championship campaign together if he had the right car. He just needs to wait for the chance.”

2018 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (13 September 2018) – Zone 1 – Paddock Club – Drivers’ Autograph Session Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo Singapore Grand Prix via Reuters Plus

The British reporter explained his reasoning for this. He said, “But, he knows something different needs to change at Mercedes for that to happen. And something weird like Lewis hamilton were to retire or them deciding to move Valtteri Bottas on, George Russell is ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the Mercedes queue. He might think how did that happen. But ok, that’s just the way it is at Mercedes.

“And then Red Bull had a space when they let go of Alex Albon and Sebastian Vettel had already moved to Aston Martin. Red Bull didn’t consider him. They must have been very miffed with how he left the team and Helmut Marko was not happy that he left them to join Renault.”

Can McLaren continue their upward ascent in 2021?

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The British team will need to adjust to the Mercedes power unit under their 2021 car, the MCL35M. The early indications from their pre-season testing showed that they have made great adjustments to the power unit.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Moreover, speculation continues to float around that they may have not shown the full extent of their race pace during the testing phase.

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Daniel Ricciardo will be very happy with how he’s fared in the MCL35M so far and will be licking his lips for the start of the season. This could make Mclaren surprise challengers for the title in 2021. The Bahrain season-opener should give a good indication of where they are as a team.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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