Daniel Ricciardo has had an incredibly difficult start to the 2022 season and now the rumour mill started with predictions of how long the Aussie driver has left in the sport.
As we head to round five in Miami, the 32-year-old has so far finished 14th in Bahrain, DNF in Saudi Arabia, came sixth in Melbourne, and an incredibly disappointing 18th in Imola after a lap one incident.
His performance thus far has seen him finish in the points just one time — at his home GP in Australia — and aside from that, he was been way down the grid due to a number of factors.
Most recently, he clipped the back wheel of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the opening lap of last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, ending the Ferrari’s race and sending him flying down the order.
Speaking to reporters after the race, Ricciardo admitted that it was his wrongdoing and even apologised to Sainz.
The McLaren driver finished the 2021 season in eighth, and while hopes were high ahead of this season, the performance of his MCL36 has so far made it difficult to foresee movement up the order.
Meanwhile, veteran F1 reporter Joe Saward has said that the McLaren team has their eyes on McLaren development driver Colton Herta and there are now suggestions that he could take Ricciardo’s seat should he leave.
“Daniel Ricciardo seems a little lost at McLaren and there continue to be rumours that in 2024 (if not earlier) Daniel will be replaced by Colton Herta, the American who Zak Brown believes could open the gates of Formula 1 to corporate America,” Saward wrote in his column.
“We will have to see if Herta has everything needed to be an F1 star, but he seems to have the speed.”