McLaren has told Daniel Ricciardo it intends to replace him with F2 champion Oscar Piastri next season, a source close to the Australian driver confirmed to Sportzshala.

- Advertisement -

As far as Sportzshala knows, Ricciardo was informed of team boss Andreas Seidl’s decision after the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday night, and he is now in discussions with the team about a financial settlement to terminate his contract a year before it expires in 2023.

- Advertisement -

Multiple sources told Sportzshala that McLaren and Piastri have signed a contract for next year, and now only Alpine’s appeal to the FIA’s contract recognition board could stop him next year.

- Advertisement -

Alpine announced on Tuesday that Piastri would replace Aston Martin-linked Fernando Alonso, but Piastri tweeted an hour later that he would not be racing for the French team next year.

Assuming Piastri’s McLaren contract remains up to date, Ricciardo looks set to now take the place in the Alps his compatriot Aussie didn’t want for the 2023 season, which would mean a smaller payout than if he’d sat out the entire year.

Ricciardo raced for Alpine when it was known as Renault in 2019 and 2020 and the management team has completely changed since he left for McLaren.

Ricciardo has been one of the best players on the grid in 2020 and there is a feeling in the F1 paddock that he needs a change of scenery to get back to his old form.

New Alpine team boss Otmar Schafnauer recently said he wouldn’t mind Ricciardo’s return to the team.

The move to the French team will also come with the attractive prospect of racing McLaren at the track next year, with the two teams vying for fourth place in this year’s championship and likely to be level next season.

An option for left field would be for Ricciardo to replace Mick Schumacher at Haas, although it is thought Ferrari will have the final say for that spot on the American team.

According to a report in racer.comMcLaren is holding off on an official Piastri announcement until Ricciardo can find himself elsewhere on next year’s grid.

The Piastri coup is as big a moment for McLaren as it is for Alpine, who seem to have lost a two-time world champion and potential future world champion within 72 hours.

Piastri, 21, will join 22-year-old Lando Norris as a rookie who will be a strong candidate for the best pair of young drivers on the F1 grid.