Why does McLaren want to pay off Ricciardo rather than keep him for 2023?

McLaren Ricciardo, Six Sports

Daniel Ricciardo has a contract with McLaren for 2023 but his contract has some clauses which mean it is cheaper for McLaren to pay him off rather than keep him.

Ricciardo has demanded 13.5 million pounds from McLaren to end his contract early. Only the driver privilege to end the deal early, not the team, the report says, which is the reason why Ricciardo is looking for a hefty pay-off.

But for McLaren turns out it is cheaper for them to pay Ricciardo off and give Piastri his salary rather than keep Ricciardo for another year.

This is because Ricciardo’s salary was set to increase next year. The three-year deal he signed with McLaren in 2020 paid him an estimated £12.2 m for the first two campaigns. This deal made him the joint-fifth highest earner on the grid.

Ricciardo’s current salary was going to be increased in 2023 as per his current contract.

His teammate, Lando Norris has estimated earnings of £20m on his current contract which runs till the end of 2025.

According to report, McLaren plans to pay Ricciardo a settlement of equal to 50% of his 2023 salary.

In total, Ricciardo’s pay-off amount plus Piastri’s salary (not to mention compensation to Alpine as they still believe Piastri is in a contact with them) is an estimated £16m. This amount is much cheaper in comparison to Ricciardo’s salary next year.

What next for Ricciardo?

The most logical option for Ricciardo is a return to Alpine. Ricciardo raced for Alpine in it’s former guise, Renault from 2019 to 2020.

Alpine has one of it’s seats empty after Fernando Alonso jumped ship to Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

Other options however are less likely to happen. These include moving to Haas, Williams, or AlphaTauri. Haas has Mick Schumacher but his contract is up this season. Williams are looking to replace Latifi. AlphaTauri is the least likely option as Ricciardo severed the ties with the Red Bull family.

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