It has been another desperate season for Daniel Ricciardo, who has been given the boot by McLaren before the final year of his contract.
Ricciardo will be replaced by fellow Australian Oscar Piastri, who signed a deal with the Woking squad back in early July. McLaren decided to look at other options amid Ricciardo’s continuing struggles with the team, although their treatment of the eight-time Grand Prix winner was criticised in some quarters, with some fans accusing McLaren of “backstabbing”.
However, it seems there are no hard feelings from Ricciardo to Piastri and his manager, former F1 racer Mark Webber. After it was confirmed Piastri was free to leave Alpine for McLaren by the sport’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB), Ricciardo held clear-the-air talks with both at the Dutch Grand Prix at the weekend.
READ MORE: Mark Webber breaks silence over Oscar Piastri saga involving McLaren and Alpine
“We hadn't seen obviously each other in person [since it all started],” said Ricciardo, as per Autosport. “I feel he didn't need to, but he felt like he wanted to, in a way, apologise and try to just see how I'm doing.
“Obviously I know how this sport is: it's nothing personal to me. And he wanted to make sure that I knew that and understood that. And just to make sure that I felt okay.
“He feels really bad, obviously, [in] how it's gone down and obviously how things have been put out there in the media. So yeah, it was obviously nice to speak to him.”
On his conversation with Piastri, Ricciardo added: “I've also spoken to Oscar, to be honest, and just made sure that there's no bad feelings there. I understand how this works.
“He's trying to make it: he's trying to get into Formula 1. And this moment should be also really big for him. I don't want to make it a bad situation for him.
“That's that: it's nothing personal. So that's all the conversation was. And I truly do wish him well. I want him to have a good run in Formula 1. So it's just the circumstances and that's how it is. But I still obviously like Mark a lot and respect him.”
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Ricciardo’s graciousness has been hailed by fans, with many taking to social media to praise the 33-year-old’s conduct as he fights to save his F1 career.
“Say what you like about Daniel, but he's been classy throughout this whole ordeal. He can hold his head high,” wrote one while another added: “Ricciardo is all class!!! What a guy!”
A third posted: “Truly one of the best human beings to have ever driven a F1 race car. Sadly though, F1 is a cruel sport.”
A fourth added: “True professional and one of the most genuine blokes on the grid. I really hope his F1 career isn't over.”
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