Swapping one Aussie for another

Mclaren racing, have reportedly told Daniel Ricciardo will be replaced in the team by Oscar Piastri for the 2023 season.

The news comes as we had a very dramatic first week of Summer break and silly season has officially commenced which began with the announcement that Fernando Alonso is to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin.

But the drama did not stop their, Alpine issued a press release stating that their academy driver, Oscar Piastri would take Alonso’s seat alongside Esteban Ocon, only for the young Aussie, to knock that down withing a couple of hours by tweeting that was “wrong” and he would not be driving for the French team in 2023.

Recently, speculation has been swirling that Piastri was targeting McLaren for a move – and now Motorsport.com are reporting that even though Ricciardo has a contract until the end of 2023, but will be moved aside to make way for his younger compatriot.

The report suggests that Piastri has signed as a reserve driver for 2023, but that once an agreement for Ricciardo’s departure has been agreed that the deal will be upgraded to a race seat alongside Lando Norris.

Looking back earlier this season, Piastri was first linked to McLaren in March when Ricciardo contracted COVID-19 and had to miss official pre-season testing in Bahrain. Alpine agreed to ‘loan’ out Piastri to McLaren for the opening race if Ricciardo has not recovered in time, but he did.

This was clearly not the end of the interest as it appears that Piastri has been on their radar for “several weeks” as they looked for someone to replace Ricciardo – who for the second consecutive campaign, has underwhelmed with his performances.

The deal between Piastri and Alpine was “never properly signed” and therefore the reigning Formula 2 champion was able to walk away from the team to which he has been affiliated with since the start of 2020.

As for Ricciardo, well team principle for Alpine, Otmar Szafnauer said earlier in the week he (Ricciardo) will be a good recommendation to return to the team and replace Alonso, insisting the face he had left the team – when known as Renault at the end of 2-2- to join McLaren was not necessarily a barrier to a reunion.

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