Daniel Ricciardo is off-contract with Team Red Bull Racing at the conclusion of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship and he is the topic of much speculation as to his future employer.
The list keeps expanding. At one point, it was limited to Mercedes and Ferrari. Both those teams will have openings following the upcoming season, but now McLaren seems to be in the picture, although their recent results would tend to steer one toward the conclusion that they would have to woo Ricciardo like a driver has never before been wooed.
We would like Ricciardo to steer the shopping basket around Walmart for us, provided we can get Australian law changed to permit non-union employees, but failing that, Ricciardo would be welcome to help us navigate Woolworths or Coles.
Racing commentator James Allen suggests that Ricciardo would find greener grass outside the Red Bull pastures.
In an recent article, Allen wrote, “I think it’s going to be very hard for him to beat Verstappen in the same car, so even if the new Red Bull is a race winner he has to move on for the sake of his career, unless he can find some way to unsettle the Dutchman, as Nico Rosberg managed with Lewis Hamilton in 2016.”
Verstappen has a newly inked long-term deal with Red Bull and Allen thinks it is time for Ricciardo to move on.
“Verstappen has all the hallmarks of a once in a generation driver, the only things that would stop him being a multiple champion are; being in the wrong car and losing discipline and focus in his life.”
McLaren is a possibility, but only because Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne are only signed for 2018. There is also a connection between Ricciardo and McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown.
McLaren’s disastrous 2017 season, however, would tend to make one think that Ricciardo would steer clear of the Brits, but McLaren at least took a step in the right direction by abandoning the weak Honda engines they used last season.