The main soap opera of the Formula 1 holidays involved, in a way, three Australians: Daniel Ricciardo, who will not continue with McLaren for 2023; Oscar Piastri, new driver for the English team; and Mark Webber, a former F1 driver and manager from Piastri. The brawl between Alpine and McLaren over Oscar, which ended with a favorable opinion for the British, prompted Webber to apologize to Ricciardo on Sunday ahead of the Dutch GP.
Without meeting the expectations created since his arrival, in 2021, Ricciardo had his link with McLaren broken – the contract would run until the end of 2023. The vacant seat, then, made it possible for Piastri to join the Woking team.
Hamilton apologizes to Mercedes after radio irritation
– Verstappen celebrates at home and wins the Dutch GP
Daniel Ricciardo at the Formula 1 Dutch GP — Photo: Marcel ter Bals/BSR Agency/Getty Images
– Obviously we hadn’t seen each other in person. I felt like he didn’t need to, but he wanted to apologize and check on me. I know how the sport works, it’s nothing personal to me. (Webber) wanted to make sure I understood this, make sure I was okay. He feels bad about the way it all happened, how it was exposed in the media. So it was nice to talk – revealed Daniel Ricciardo.
At Zandvoort, Ricciardo also had the chance to speak for the first time with Piastri, his replacement at McLaren. Even with the future in F1 undefined, the 33-year-old driver assured that there are no squabbles with the rookie.
Mark Webber, former F1 driver, at the Monaco GP — Photo: MANDOGA MEDIA/picture alliance via Getty Images)
– He is trying to get into F1, the moment should be very big for him. I wish him all the best. If there is no communication, you never know how a person feels or thinks. (Piastri) is much younger than me, I don’t know if he was nervous to look for me. I think I made him feel better. The last thing he wanted was to have some weird tension between the few Australians in the sport.”
The Dutch GP was another chapter in a frustrating 2022 for Ricciardo at McLaren. Aboard the MCL36, the Australian crossed the line in P17, the penultimate of the 18 drivers who completed the race.
Formula 1 heads to Monza for the Italian GP, ending a triple round. There are seven races left in the 2022 season.