Daniel Ricciardo "working my a** off" as star issues defiant message over future

Daniel Ricciardo has issued a defiant statement over his commitment to Formula 1 and McLaren amid continued speculation over his future in the sport.

Aside from his win at the Italian Grand Prix last year, the Australian has endured a disappointing 18 months with McLaren following his switch from Renault. Ricciardo has been comprehensively outpaced by teammate Lando Norris and team boss Zak Brown has publically admitted that his spell with the team has not met expectations so far.

As a result, rumours that he could be replaced for 2023 have abounded. It has even been suggested he could walk away from the sport entirely.

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McLaren do have other options, with several IndyCar drivers now having close ties with the team. Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta, who race for Arrow McLaren SP in the stateside series, have both tested a McLaren F1 car. Meanwhile, IndyCar champion Alex Palou will join Arrow McLaren next season and will also get time in an F1 machine. The Woking squad have also been linked with current F1 drivers Alex Albon and Sebastian Vettel

However, any potential new driver may have to wait until 2024 at least, with Ricciardo having a McLaren contract for next season. And amid doubts over his spot at the sport’s top table, the 33-year-old has taken to social media to stress his commitment to F1 and McLaren.

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“There have been a lot of rumors [sic] around my future in Formula 1, but I want you to hear it from me. I am committed to McLaren until the end of the next year and am not walking away from the sport,” he posted.

“Appreciate it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants easy! I’m working my a** off with the team to make improvements and get the car right and back to the front where it belongs. I still want this more than ever. See you in Le Castellet. Daniel.”

Ricciardo recovered from a tough start to the weekend to take ninth at the recent Austrian Grand Prix, with the French Grand Prix next up the weekend after this.

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