Rumor: Ricciardo wants $21 million from McLaren to break contract early (Update)

This rumor is upgraded to ‘fact’ today.

Speaking on the latest High-Performance podcast, McLaren CEO Zak Brown admitted a lot of money made the move happen: “We’ve had to end the relationship early. We’ve had to write a big check, which is fine because that’s the deal that we cut.

“What I’ll do next time is maybe have some more performance protections for us and not just assume that a great driver’s going to always be great. I think that’s the one learning as a more contractual one, but it’s a big one.

“I think the only thing is from a business standpoint, we could have (thought about), ‘What if it doesn’t work?’ I think we went into it so excited and not really thinking of a downside scenario.

“But you also don’t know if you would have got those contractual protections. Sitting here now, I can say: I wish I had this in the contract, but who knows whether he would have agreed to it.

“But also he might have because he might have been going: Well, that’s never going to happen,” explained Brown.

August 9, 2022 

Daniel Ricciardo has reportedly asked for $21 million if McLaren wants to terminate his contract a year early.

It’s likely also that, should Ricciardo secure a drive elsewhere next season, any salary component he receives would see the same value refunded to McLaren.

A figure as high as $15 million has been suggested to get Oscar Piastri out of his Alpine contract, which, combined with the pay-out to Ricciardo, could see the 21-year-old’s arrival at Woking cost the team well over $30 million.

We hope he’s worth it.