Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo is just days away from announcing another huge pay day, with anticipation he will move to the McLaren team in 2021.
A shuffle of the F1 driver market was begun when Sebastian Vettel announced he would leave Ferrari at seaon’s end.
While Ricciardo had initially mooted as filling that seat at Ferrari, it was now considered likely that the Italian team will sign young Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr, whose job at McLaren would be taken by the Australian.
Salary details are not publicly disclosed, but the Perth native’s new deal was likely to be of similar value to the one he had at Renault this season at last, which was reportedly valued at more than $30million a year.+4
Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) is said to be days away from announcing a move to McLaren’s racing team after suffering in an under-performing car at Renault last season
The new contracts for both Ricciardo and Sainz were expected to be announced before the end of this week, according to reports.
Ricciardo moved from Red Bull to Renault in 2018 after an unreliable car saw him retire from a string of races.
But the move to the French team did not pay off as he dropped further down the field, failing to get any podium finishes.+4
The position at McLaren opened up after Carlos Sainz Jr (pictured) secured a move to Ferrari which is also expected to be announced this week+4
Ricciardo originally moved from Red Bull to Renault in 2018 after an unreliable car saw him retire from a string of races but he has yet to win a single race under the French team
Ricciardo signed to Renault for both the 2019 and 2020 season but has yet to race this year after the coronavirus pandemic halted the series.
Last week Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul confessed to Sky Sports F1 that while he hoped to keep Ricciardo for the 2021 season nothing was set in stone.
‘We like Daniel,’ he said. ‘Daniel embarked on a project, that was very clear from day one, and that project is clearly incomplete, both at a team level and I guess also at Daniel’s level,’ he said.
‘I like to think we can do more together, accomplish more together, and get more results that what we’ve done so far. Clearly that’s the intention.’
With a clear but promising No.2 driver in Sainz, Ferrari could be building a team that would allow 22-year-old Charles Leclerc to take the Italian team’s first drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.+4
Charles Leclerc is to become the undisputed No 1 driver at Ferrari is Sainz joins the team
Spaniard Sainz, 25, finished sixth in the championship last year, including his first podium in Brazil. His appointment will excite few hearts in Italy but he fits the ‘new cycle’ Ferrari have devised.
The move away from Ferrari has left Sebastian Vettel, 32, without a secured seat at the end of the season.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has expressed interest in his services but it remains to be seen whether the German will take a break from the sport or seek a new team.
Renault are another possibility for the four-time champion.
Fernando Alonso, who won two titles with the French manufacturer in 2005 and 2006, is another Renault candidate.
However, the Spaniard is 40 next year, so time may be against him. Lewis Hamilton racing Sir Stirling Moss as they claim no bravery in F1