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Daniel Ricciardo: McLaren know it is cheaper to pay him off than to keep him for 2023 – this is why… | F1

Ricciardo has demanded £13.25m to bring an early end to his contract with McLaren, which is currently due to expire after the 2023 season, according to Speedcafe.

Only the driver has the right to end the contract early, not the team, the report says, which is why Ricciardo is negotiating a pay-off.

It is cheaper for McLaren to pay Ricciardo off, and pay the salary of his replacement Oscar Piastri, than it would be to keep Ricciardo for 2023, according to French sports business website

That is reportedly because Ricciardo’s salary, on his current contract, is due to increase next season.

He penned a three-year deal with McLaren in 2020 – the agreement was for him to be paid an estimated £12.2m in each of the first two seasons. This year, that makes him the joint-fifth highest earner on the F1 grid.

That figure is due to increase for 2023, the final year on Ricciardo’s contract.

His teammate Lando Norris is already earning an estimated £20m per season, with four more years still to run on his current contract.

McLaren intend to pay Ricciardo a settlement equivalent to 50 percent of his contracted 2023 salary, report.

In total, McLaren believe that Ricciardo’s pay-off, plus Piastri’s salary for 2023, plus compensation to Alpine (who insist Piastri is already under contract with them), would total an estimated €19m (£16m) – that is still less than keeping Ricciardo as their driver for next season.

The F1 2023 driver line-up currently has five vacant seats.

The likeliest landing spot for Ricciardo could be at Alpine, the team he represented when they were known as Renault.

Alpine have lost Fernando Alonso, who will move to Aston Martin for the 2023 season as a replacement for the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso, the fourth-highest earning driver of 2022, is pocketing more than Ricciardo this season which may mean Alpine have the budget to attract the Australian.

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