The team was building around Max and was never going to work with Dan there, he was never going to accept to eventually being a support role figure, so it was never going to work. He seemed to do good at Renault regardless, and McLaren could be on the way back to the front now also, so if he can figure it out by the end of the year and for next year he's at a good place, they could well be challenging RB next season.
So what gives if McLaren build a rocketship for 2022 and Lando continues to dominate him, forcing him in the same situation he left Red Bull for?
I think it’s easy to forget Daniel was Red Bull’s goose with the golden eggs after 2014. He beat Vettel and won three races in an underpowered car. Then came Kvyat who outscored him a bit luckily, but Daniel’s stock was sky high. It was in this team that Max entered the scene in 2016. Red Bull did not immediately build the team around him (that infamous quote referred to his side of the garage); Red Bull were a team with two equal status drivers who were free to battle each other on track. May the best man win. Unfortunately for Daniel, the days where he won became less and less frequent even if the margins were small.
Then came summer 2018, the upcoming announcement of the Honda deal following the successful proof of concept with Toro Rosso and contract negotiations with both drivers. I think Max simply showed more eagerness to sign on and more belief in the project, whereas Daniel wanted to keep his options open for longer (Mercedes?). In the end he decided to move to Renault even when Red Bull offered him a financially better/equal deal.
To this day I don’t understand this move. Daniel had felt the frustration of Renault power units under-delivering for years and yet when Red Bull set way on their course that sees them heading both championships today he opted to leave for Renault. I honestly believe that both Red Bull and Ricciardo himself would have been far better of had he chosen to stay and commit to this project. An Alonsoesque decision if you ask me, but alas irreversible.
Having said that, I still love Daniel as a driver and as a character. He’s better than this and I hope he finds his way out of this career slump quickly. That McLaren looks a very handy car - a driver of Daniel’s competence should have it on the podium regularly.
Edited by FullOppositeLock, 03 July 2021 - 18:17.