McLaren announced that Ricciardo will not be driving for the team for the 2023 season, opening the door for Alpine junior Oscar Piastri.

Since joining the team in 2021, Ricciardo has been dominated by younger teammate Lando Norris, even though he managed to end McLaren’s win drought at Monza last year.

During the early part of his F1 career, Ricciardo was partnered with Vettel at Red Bull in 2014. 

The Australian surprised everyone and out-performed the four-time champion, taking three victories to Vettel’s zero.

His form ultimately led to Vettel’s exit, joining Ferrari for the following season.

Speaking ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Vettel revealed that he didn’t follow F1’s ‘silly season’ drama over the break but became aware of his former teammate’s future.

“I heard it was quite turbulent,” he said. “Maybe I have too much empathy for F1 drivers but I am very saddened hearing what’s going to happen to Daniel. I think it’s a very, very difficult situation to be in. 

“I think he’s still one of the best drivers I raced against, I had the pleasure of racing against him and the not-so-pleasurable side of getting beaten by him years ago, and I think he still has very much [a lot] to offer. 

“I think in this regard, I don’t know the details, but I guess McLaren failed to extract the potential that he has. It’s sad to see that he’s been put in a difficult position, but I wish him all the best, and I’m sure that the talent he has and the qualities he has will shine through.”

Ironically, Vettel’s shock retirement ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix triggered a chain reaction in the 2023 F1 driver market.

Fernando Alonso was quickly announced as Vettel’s replacement before Alpine confirmed Piastri would be making the step up.

Piastri then posted on social media that he would be joining another team, hinting at McLaren, which was the writing on the wall for Ricciardo.

Since then, Ricciardo has been linked with a return to Alpine, while Haas and Williams are alternatives.