McLaren Hang $20m A Year Fruit To Daniel Ricciardo To Compete In The Mid-Field
McLaren has reportedly offered Daniel Ricciardo very expensive hanging fruit in the form of a $20m per-year contract. Ricciardo is out of contract when the 2018 F1 campaign ends and understandably is weighing up his options. With Red Bull F1 switching to Honda power for 2019 and McLaren using Renault power, Ricciardo will have knowledge of both power plants and whether Honda can further raise their game.
It’s a tough decision for Daniel Ricciardo to make, join Mclaren, who have designed an underperforming car despite using the same customer engine as Red Bull or stick with his current team for 2019.
Currently, Ricciardo has won two races and lies third in the driver’s championship. Fernando Alonso’s future at the Woking based squad is looking uncertain, with McLaren instigating talks with Ricciardo it looks certain Alonso will leave F1 at the end of the year.
McLaren is struggling, yet again performance has been way off expectations and reports suggest trouble is brewing at the team’s state of the art HQ with a possible staff revolt in the making over the current direction of the management.
McLaren’s struggles are real and for all to see, they have the best driver on the grid but one of the worst of the Renault powered customer cars. Only Alonso’s formidable skills have allowed McLaren to score as many points as they have so far.
Should Ricciardo stick with Red Bull then it’s Honda power for 2019, it may well be another two or three seasons before Honda make significant gains to propel them on level terms with Ferrari and Mercedes.
Will Ricciardo be prepared to wait for up to three years? That is the question. Or will he take the McLaren money and experience what Alonso was promised from day, promises that remain unfulfilled.
Or will Ricciardo wait for one more year, stick it out with Red Bull F1 Honda, and sign a 2020 Ferrari contract, by which time Kimi Raikkonen will surely have retired. But if he were to join Ferrari would he be prepared to become a number 2 driver?
Ferrari has always favored one driver over the other, Vettel is the undisputed number one with 4-championships under his belt, Vettel’s prestige alone is worth more than money it’s his ability to deliver victories and potential championships.
But if he were to stay at Red Bull would Ricciardo be prepared to take another year of the volatile Dr. Helmut Marko, in addition to Red Bull openly saying they will build the team around Max Verstappen.
The McLaren offer would be an opportunity for Ricciardo to mold the team around him, a chance to rebuild, but it would be a long-term project and the prospects of facing an internal management war.
The key to staying at Red Bull isn’t the engine, isn’t the contract, it’s Adrian Newey, the F1 design genius engineer consistently designs race winning chassis. For Daniel Ricciardo, winning is the most valuable of currencies.