Formula 1, the top echelon of motorsports, has no time for wankers.
In many motorsports series, if your daddy owns the team, or you bring a big check, you can buy your seat into a race car.
Even F1 is that way (see Alpine with Stroll and Latifi at Williams) but to a far lessor extent.
In F1 you either perform, or you are axed.
And that is precisely what is happening to McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, the latest axe victim, and many people think it is wrong.
But is it wrong?
ESPN’s Nate Saunders reported four teams have sounded Ricciardo out recently to “see where his head is at” and slammed McLaren for its treatment of the Aussie.
“It reflects very poorly on Brown and McLaren how they have treated Ricciardo over the past six months,” Saunders wrote. “Ricciardo, the only McLaren driver to have won an F1 race since 2012, has been the first to admit his performances have not been up to the standards he set at Red Bull and Renault, but it feels as though he has been made as a scapegoat to deflect away from deeper problems at the team.”
He wasn’t alone in hailing the Aussie’s class during a turbulent season.
“Amid all the rumpus and pressure you have to commend Ricciardo on his grace and professionalism over these last few months,” tweeted Tom Gaymor. “Says everything about him as a man, he is a class act and I hope he keeps smiling and doing it his way.”
But others saw it differently, believing Ricciardo is a spent force, and he’s replacement is part and parcel of the cut-throat nature of F1.
“Ricciardo is getting a taste of his own medicine when he left Renault to join McLaren and this is proof that that was not right move for him,” tweeted Sahil Mohan Gupta. “Now, he will probably end up at Alpine if not leave F1. This is crazy.”
“I’ll always be a fan of Ricciardo, but can you really blame McLaren?” added Gannon Burgett. “They’re paying him out the ass for a driver who’s scored only 20% of the team’s points so far.”
“Please Alpine don’t take him back!” Tiff Needell tweeted. “Love Daniel but he’s had 12 years in F1, stuffed a few million in the bank and there‘s lots of other motorsport he could do. So give someone else a chance!”