Daniel Ricciardo should have listened to old advice he received prior to his bombshell shift to joining McLaren.
After shocking the paddock with his decision to join Renault from Red Bull, the Aussie star pulled the pin on the French outfit during his second season.
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In another mid-season merry-go-round, Ricciardo signed with the Woking-based McLaren team to partner up with Lando Norris.
Ricciardo, 33, endured a rollercoaster time at his third team as he more often than not failed to find the form that made him one of the most exciting drivers on the grid.
He did capture McLaren’s first Grand Prix victory since 2012 when he crossed the line first during the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, edging out Norris.
But after claiming his eighth Grand Prix victory, Ricciardo never stepped foot on the podium again as a McLaren driver.
It eventually saw the team cut ties with him in favour of rising Aussie youngster Oscar Piastri in wild scenes that took the F1 paddock by storm.
The fallout to the unceremonious axing is captured in Netflix’s new season of their smash hit, Drive to Survive, with one moment showing Ricciardo was pre-warned of the betrayal.
Formula 1 journalist Roberto Chinchero and Ricciardo are walking along in the paddock at the Dutch Grand Prix in 2022 as they discuss what’s next for the Western Australia native.
It’s at the end of their discussion when Chinchero leans into the Aussie and reminds the Aussie that he’d already warned him McLaren would ultimately betray him.
“I told you not to trust Zak,” Chinchero says.
The line is a reference to McLaren team principal Zak Brown who came under fire in the wake of the brutal sacking over broken promises after reportedly blindsiding Ricciardo by signing Piastri long before he axed the 33-year-old. Proving Chinchero knew what he was talking about.
The FIA’s contract recognition board revealed McLaren submitted paperwork for Piastri on July 4.
Ricciardo wasn’t told about his axing until after the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 31.
He said he was left in the dark and didn’t know Piastri was already signed by McLaren before the mid-season break, but Brown disputed those claims.
“We were transparent through the whole process and I know there had been tonnes of media speculation when it happened, how it happened,” Brown said.
“Daniel and I know what really happened and I think that’s why we still very much have a strong relationship.
“It was all transparent, well-communicated and there’s times we can tell people what’s going on and then there’s other times we just can’t.”
Ricciardo has since returned to his old stomping ground at Red Bull as a reserve driver for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
His move to Red Bull as a reserve, rejecting race seat offers at smaller teams Williams and Haas, has been roundly criticised across the F1 paddock.
Drive to Survive icon and Haas team boss Guenther Steiner revealed the team had pulled the pin on chasing Ricciardo due to his highly-inflated contract demands.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was conveying his excitement at potentially joining forces with the smiling Aussie in 2023, but Steiner quickly shut that notion down.
“We can’t afford him, Kevin,” Steiner says. “He wants 10 f***ing million. Minimum!”
The conversation then quickly turns to a more realistic target, former driver Nico Hulkenberg who ultimately joined the team and will return to the grid this season.
The 2023 Formula 1 season gets underway on March 6 with the Bahrain Grand Prix at 2am (AEDT).
Drive to Survive season five premieres on Netflix on Friday, February 24.