Formula 1: Damon Hill assesses Daniel Ricciardo's recent struggles

Damon Hill has given his verdict on the struggles that Daniel Ricciardo has had at McLaren in recent years.

The Aussie’s spell with the team is coming to a premature end at the conclusion of this season, with him originally on a contract that was going to run to the end of 2023.

Indeed, it was confirmed at the end of the summer break that he would be moving on from the team, with Oscar Piastri coming in to replace him, and it now remains to be seen where he’ll be heading next.

He has been linked with a move to Alpine, Haas and even Mercedes as a reserve driver for 2023 but has also admitted he’s accepted the possibility of not being on the grid for next season, which is some tumble from where he was when at Red Bull as a multi-Grand Prix winner and one of the best drivers about.

If he can find a new team, the hope has to be it will rejuvenate him but, right now, it’s still uncertain as to what he is going to be doing in 2023.


Damon Hill discusses Daniel Ricciardo’s situation

It’s a situation that has many intrigued, and 1996 world champion Hill has offered his thoughts on it:

“Danny’s been such a fantastic character for our sport, effervescent and always smiling and stuff, but something’s gone wrong,” he said to Sky Sports.

“Not only in his pace at McLaren, but also in his strategy for getting himself in a competitive car. Something fell through the cracks there and let’s hope he comes up smelling of roses somewhere and we see him back at the front.

“Every team manager would be looking at him and everyone, every team, will be looking at him and asking ‘where’s the pace gone? Is it coming back?’ And that’s the big question mark. We don’t know.”

Daniel Ricciardo
SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 27: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 27, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

It’s had an element of mystery around it and ultimately Ricciardo’s struggling time at McLaren is now coming to an end.

There is no doubting the talent that he does have as a racing driver but at the moment it looks just as possible that he’ll be off of the F1 grid in 2023 compared to on it.

Time will tell what happens with the Aussie, and there’s no doubt it would be a shame to lose him for next season given what he can bring to the sport.

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