Daniel Ricciardo is standing by his decision to switch from Renault to McLaren next year despite McLaren experiencing some financial struggles as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ricciardo was part of a driver market merry-go-round during the hiatus in racing this year after being signed by McLaren for 2021 to take the place of Carlos Sainz, who is leaving the team to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari. Ricciardo's decision comes less than two years after he announced his decision to leave Red Bull for current team Renault and will see him partner Lando Norris at McLaren next year.
However, since signing his new deal, the McLaren Group, which owns the team and also makes road-going supercars, encountered financial difficulties and reportedly faced insolvency by this month had it not secured a loan from the Bank of Bahrain. Team principal Andreas Seidl has since played down the severity of the situation but admitted long-term infrastructure plans, such as a new wind tunnel, have been delayed as a result of the cash flow issues.
But Ricciardo insists developments in recent weeks have not made him question his decision.
"I don't have any second thoughts," he said ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix. "I would say I'm pretty good at making a decision and ... I put a lot of thought into things, let's say that.
"I've been asked quite a few questions already on the switch but until I'm there I don't really want to go into if I'm happy, if I feel great. I understand, I made the decision before I even raced [this year], so sure I'll get asked about it, but now we're here, driving the car in 24 hours, I want to keep focused on Renault for the remainder of this year."
Renault has not decided on a replacement for Ricciardo, although Vettel and two-time champion Fernando Alonso have reportedly been considered by the team. Ricciardo's current teammate, Esteban Ocon, is on a two-year deal with Renault and said his preference would be for Alonso to partner him next year.
"I got asked many times during the lockdown and I always respond honestly and my personal choice has no relation to what the team is going to do," Ocon said. "I have a great relationship with Fernando, the helmet I have and the only swap with the drivers was him, he as the one with Michael back in the day that gave me the love [for F1].
"I don't know if he's going to join with us or not but definitely if he comes back with me I'd be happy."