It's been a rough season for McLaren F1, but particularly for Daniel Ricciardo. The fan favorite who topped the podium at the Italian Grand Prix last year is set to leave the team at the end of the season. But his replacement has been decided.
On Friday, Formula One confirmed that Oscar Piastri will replace Ricciardo for McLaren in 2023. Piastri is the reigning Formula 2 champion and has spent the 2022 season as a reserve driver for Alpine.
But despite Alpine's hopes that he would join their team in 2022, Piastri publicly rebuffed them and refused to sign a contract with Alpine. That decision led to a lot of public back-and-forth between Piastri's supporters and Alpine's higher-ups.
The end result is Piastri joining one of Alpine's biggest rivals, teaming up with Lando Norris to form one of the youngest duos in Formula One.
Oscar Piastri is one of the fastest rising stars in open-wheel racing (no pun intended). In 24 entries in Formula 2, he won six races, five poles, six fastest laps and reached the podium 11 times.
The year before, Piastri won the Formula 3 Championship. In 2019, he won the Formula Renault EuroCup.
For Daniel Ricciardo, the move leaves his Formula One future uncertain. There are five roster spots that have yet to be filled between Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, Alpine, Haas and Williams.
Ricciardo will go down as the only driver other than the incomparable Lewis Hamilton to lead a McLaren car to victory in the last decade.