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Ricciardo dealt 'a bad hand' in F1 says Aussie's manager – F1i.com

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Daniel Ricciardo’s exit from F1 at the end of the season isn’t about unachievable demands or a lack of opportunity but about “a man being dealt a bad hand” insists the Aussie’s manager Nick Thimm.
In August, Ricciardo and McLaren mutually agreed to bring forward by a year the end of their collaboration, a split decided after a two-year tenure during which the eight-time Grand Prix winner failed to fulfil his team’s expectations.
From the outset, Ricciardo struggled at the Woking-based outfit, rarely performing on a par with talented teammate Lando Norris and repeatedly wrestling to come to grips with his car.
The prospect of a regulation change in F1 for 2022 and a new design fielded by McLaren brought hopes of a turnaround.
But Ricciardo’s performance and contribution to his team’s track record remained sub-par, even despite McLaren’s relentless efforts to pull the Aussie up the grid.
Last summer’s split rendered Ricciardo a free agent for 2023, but with no reasonable opportunity to race on in F1 next season, the soon-to-be ex-McLaren driver is expected to take a break from the sport.
Last weekend, Ricciardo’s agent took to Twitter to comment on his protégé’s predicament and to seemingly absolve him of any responsibility regarding his poor results in the last two seasons.
“None of this is about ego, unachievable demands, or a sudden lack of opportunity,” Nick Thimm tweeted.
“This is about a man who was dealt a bad hand, now finding the right next opportunity. Uncovering a new project where he can work with a team that embraces his unique set of skills.

“Daniel’s maturity and experience is matched by few on the grid; now more than ever.
“The honey badger will still be as close to the F1 grid as he can in 2023. He’s not done. And as we saw this season, anything can happen.”
It’s unclear what Thimm means by “dealt a bad hand”, especially given how McLaren has gone out of its way to help improve its driver’s performance, for Ricciardo but also for its own interest.
“In the end, we have to accept on both sides that despite all the effort we have put in, the commitment, despite all we have tried on our side, despite everything he has tried on his side, we didn’t manage to do it together,” recently aid McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.
“And in the end, that is a shared responsibility between Daniel and us.”
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