As Daniel Ricciardo fights to keep his place on the Formula 1 grid, pop music icon Harry Styles has thrown his support behind the Australian driver.
Ricciardo became embroiled in F1’s mid-year silly season following reports he will be replaced by young compatriot Oscar Piastri at McLaren next year.
The news erupted last week after Fernando Alonso blindsided the F1 world when he jumped into Sebastian Vettel’s vacated seat at Aston Martin for 2023.
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Alpine then announced Piastri would be the man to replace Alonso, only for the Melburnian to reject the seat — a bold move for a man who is yet to drive in F1.
Now Ricciardo, who has one year remaining on his contract, has reportedly asked for a $21 million payout from McLaren for the early termination of his contract. The eight-figure payout would clear the way for McLaren to sign Piastri.
Nothing has gone right for Ricciardo this season – the Perth driver accumulated just 19 points before the mid-season break while McLaren teammate Lando Norris has managed 76.
However, Ricciardo has some high-profile celebrities in his corner.
On Sunday, an image of Styles donning a Daniel Ricciardo shirt circulated social media channels, inevitably sending the F1 community into a frenzy.
According to internet sleuths, the Ricciardo shirt went on sale during last October’s United States Grand Prix in Austin.
Earlier this year, Styles released his third full-length solo album “Harry’s House” to critical acclaim. He will also appear in Olivia Wilde’s upcoming psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling” alongside Florence Pugh.
Ricciardo has remained tight-lipped about his future in the sport and doesn’t appear bothered by the ongoing saga.
He is clearly enjoying his mid-season break, posting a photo of himself to Instagram smiling in a swimming pool.
If Piastri does indeed take his place at McLaren, Ricciardo’s most likely landing spot would be Alpine, the French team formerly known as Renault where he spent two seasons in 2019 and 2020.