McLaren has reportedly offered to triple Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo’s salary in 2019 if he makes the switch to the Woking outfit.
Should Ricciardo accept McLaren’s offer it would make him one of the highest paid drivers in the sport. A salary of $20M or more would certainly solidify his spot amongst the sport’s elite in terms of salary. It’s still well south of the $40M Fernando Alonso makes and the $50-60M both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton currently make.
According to Red Bull boss Helmut Marko “Our Daniel Ricciardo is the king of the market, McLaren offers him more every week.” The common thought in the paddock, however, is Ricciardo isn’t signing anywhere until Lewis Hamilton finalizes his deal with Mercedes. If for some reason Hamilton doesn’t sign with Mercedes Ricciardo obviously wants to be in prime position to slide into that ride.
Ricciardo was rumored to have an exclusive negotiating period with Ferrari, however, there are some rumors the Italian team will drop Raikkonen in 2019 for Ferrari Young Driver Academy and current Sauber star Charles LeClerc. Mainly because LeClerc will cost far less than Ricciardo who with Vettel’s salary would put Ferrari above $80M on drivers alone.
McLaren is likely looking at Ricciardo as a replacement for Fernando Alonso who appears likely to spearhead McLaren’s efforts into IndyCar racing. Ricciardo partnering Stoffel Vandoorne would give McLaren a veteran’s voice while retaining two younger drivers. If Ricciardo is bein g brought in to partner Alonso that would certainly give McLaren a stout line up but what about the car?
Ricciardo Should Not Want McLaren
McLaren is a shell of its former self. The once evil empire that was ruthlessly committed to winning and killing the competition is now a field of sunflowers with people galavanting around welcoming everyone. COME IN, EVERYONE IS WELCOME.
Ricciardo wants to go to a team that can win a World Championship now. Not sometime in the future, not in the second Trump administration and not when Max Verstappen hits 30. Going to McLaren would set his career back a few years and at this point, it’s not worth it.
Sticking to Red Bull even with Honda power units is a better situation. McLaren is completely lost as a team, even with Renault power units, they’re still lost. Eric Boullier admitted to the team after Canada they aren’t sure what to do. Why would a driver of Ricciardo’s caliber want to go there?
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