The last week has been pretty rough for McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo.
If the frustrations of not being able to live up to his potential were not enough for the Australian, it now appears almost certain that fellow countryman Oscar Piastri will grab his seat ahead of the 2023 season.
With Alpine reserve driver Piastri keen to find a team that can match his ambitions, Ricciardo being unable to set the stage alight during his time with McLaren means that he is almost certainly going to be shown the exit door.
Since joining McLaren last year, Ricciardo has consistently been out-qualified by teammate Lando Norris.
He finished his first season with them scoring just 45 points, but the saving grace was a victory in Monza, which was the team’s first race win since 2012.
However, there was significant pressure on Ricciardo to improve this season.
As things have panned out, Ricciardo hasn’t got the best of cars and his lack of highlight performances has even led to McLaren CEO Zak Brown publicly berating him.
Despite that, both Brown and team principal Andreas Seidl had said that Ricciardo could turn things around and that they still had faith in his abilities.
With Sebastian Vettel announcing his retirement, a lot of drama suddenly began though.
Fernando Alonso was soon announced as his successor at Aston Martin.
This frees up a position at Alpine, who themselves were taken aback by Alonso’s decision.
Hours after Alonso’s decision was made public, Alpine issued a press release stating that reserve driver Oscar Piastri would finally get a full-time seat.
Piastri kick-started silly season
What happened next became the greatest talking point in F1 (and even outside it) over the course of the week.
Piastri went on to dismiss Alpine’s claim and categorically said that he will not feature for them.
It has been speculated since then that he is in talks with McLaren for Ricciardo’s position.
Ricciardo, meanwhile, is believed to be discussing a deal with Alpine, a team he left (then Renault) for McLaren two years back.
Many fans believe Ricciardo has shown some improvement in recent weeks, where he has finished ahead of Norris on two out of three races.
There is a growing sentiment that he has been hard done by McLaren and in light of this, a fan chose to offer Ricciardo some advice.
The Twitter user urged Ricciardo to intentionally finish last in all of McLaren’s remaining races.
If I were Daniel I would finish in P20 on purpose for the rest of the season out of pure pettiness— fem ⚡ (@bitsoffem) August 5, 2022
“If I were Daniel I would finish in P20 on purpose for the rest of the season out of pure pettiness,” said one fan.
The tweet soon went viral, with some pointing out that Ricciardo may not even have to try too hard to achieve something like that.
However, others jumped to the rescue of the Honey Badger, claiming that he had not got the best of cars to work with this season. , with others joking that he might not be far off that without trying.
Which end of the stick do you sit on? Let us know in the comments.