Justin Marks, owner of NASCAR’s Track House Racing, came up with the idea of bringing international drivers like Daniel Ricciardo to the American racing arena.
McLaren recently confirmed that the team is ending its contract with Daniel Ricciardo. He will be replaced by the 2021 F2 champion, Oscar Piastre
Ricciardo’s contract with the British team was set until the end of the 2023 season. But McLaren decided to part after the Australian struggled to find his rhythm in the MCL36.
Ricciardo is the latest McLaren Grand Prix winner. McLarens broke 9yearlong waiting to win the race by claiming victory in the 2021 Italian GP. But this was also his only appearance on the podium while racing for McLaren.
The Australian has scored points in just 4 out of 16 races so far in the 2022 season. Daniel has managed to outpace teammate Lando Norris on just two occasions. He is 14th in the drivers’ standings with 9 points.
And then McLaren decided to separate from the Australian. This means that Ricciardo’s future in F1 is uncertain at the moment.
– Formula 1 (@F1) August 24, 2022
The only vacant seats in the 2023 grid are in Alpine, Williams and Haas. Neither of them fit Ricardo’s ambitions to fight for victories.
The only other chance to continue in F1 is to join a team as a reserve driver. But that option also seems unlikely as no team can foot the $15 million wage bill for a reserve driver.
So it looks like a season’s vacation is likely. Ricciardo said he is considering taking a break from Formula 1 as well. But in times like these, the best chance for Ricciardo to renew his racing career can come across the pond!
Daniel Ricciardo can race in NASCAR
Daniel Ricciardo will likely be seated for one season. In the meantime, he will be looking to renew his racing career and look for opportunities.
One of the most attractive job opportunities for Australian dollars has emerged in the USA. NASCAR team owner Justin Marks recently claimed that the team is open to bringing in the F1 star.
Marks is the owner of the Track House racing team. He claimed that Ricardo was aware of their “Project 91” ambitions. But he is still figuring out his position on staying in F1.
Journalist Adam Stern reports that Marks said: “Daniel Ricciardo is aware of Project 91 and he knows there is interest on our part. But I think he’s finding out what his deal is in Formula One.”
.Tweet embed “He’s familiar with Project 91 and he knows there’s interest on our part, (but) I think he’s finding out what his deal is in Formula One.” Tweet embed He said the Australian would likely run in a NASCAR race with Trackhouse. pic.twitter.com/cAkna5cHoz
– Adam Stern (@A_S12) September 21 2022
Project 91 is an initiative by Trackhouse that aims to bring international racing stars to the NASCAR Cup Series. Most recently, 2007 F1 champion Kimi Räikkönen became the first star to drive the #91 car at Watkins Glen.
Marks is keen to expand the initiative and attract many more motorsport players. He even pitched the idea to NASCAR to “cross” Formula 1 stars like Lewis Hamilton, Ricciardo and more.
Kimi Raikkonen. Glen Watkins. Project 91.
Snowman back. pic.twitter.com/4SSrQPjynQ
– Project 91 (@THProject91) 26 May 2022
McLaren also offered Ricciardo a chance to continue racing with the IndyCar team. But the Australian turned down the offer and remains eager for any chances in Formula 1.
Ricciardo is a big fan of American racing and has expressed his desire to race. However, he believes the move is premature for him to walk away from Formula One given that there is “unfinished business” here. But we could see Ricciardo racing in NASCAR or IndyCar soon!