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Daniel Ricciardo says he will not walk away from McLaren despite question marks over his future with the British team.
Ricciardo, an eight-time grand prix winner, has a contract with McLaren until the end of 2023.
But American driver Colton Herta, 22, completed a two-day test for McLaren at Portimao this week, while the British team have also announced IndyCar champion Alex Palou, 25, will be added to their squad of drivers next year.
However, Ricciardo, 33, who addressed McLaren’s staff at their Woking factory on Wednesday, wrote on Instagram: “There have been a lot of rumours around my future in Formula One, but I want you to hear it from me.
“I am committed to McLaren until the end of next year and am not walking away from the sport. Appreciate it hasn’t always been easy, but who wants easy?
“I’m working my a** off with the team to make improvements and get the car right and back to the front where it belongs.
“I still want this more than ever. See you (at the next race) in Le Castellet.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 13, 2022
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said earlier this season that Ricciardo, a former Red Bull and Renault driver, has not met his expectations since his arrival at the team last year.
Britain’s Lando Norris has out-qualified Ricciardo at nine of the 11 races in 2022, and has scored 47 points more than his Australian team-mate.
In an interview with the PA news agency last month, Ricciardo said: “I would be more surprised if I was coming, say 13th, and everyone is like, ‘Dan’s killing it this year’.
“I know the team cares about me and therefore there is an expectation as to where I can perform and where my ability lies, so with Zak’s comment, I am well aware of how I am doing and I take it as a roundabout way of a compliment because he also believes I can be doing better.
“I am my biggest critic and I don’t take that stuff to heart. A bit of pressure is good. It is not something I take personally or negatively.”