A recent report has offered a new perspective on Daniel Ricciardo's position at McLaren, which many believe will depend on whether McLaren wants to continue with the Australian.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has previously mentioned that there are "mechanisms" that allow for Ricciardo and McLaren to separate before the expiration of their contract at the end of 2023.
The general interpretation of this interview was that Ricciardo's contract included performance clauses, allowing McLaren to end its relationship with the Australian prematurely.
However, The Race has recently published an article contradicting this idea, reporting that Ricciardo's future is ultimately in his hands:
"The Race understands it is not McLaren that can choose to end the deal early. It's Ricciardo with the option of triggering a break clause.
So whether Ricciardo's 2023 contract is upheld seems to be down to him."
This is an interesting development, as it would mean the balance of power between Ricciardo and McLaren does not especially favour the latter.
If this report is accurate, there are very different dynamics at play between the two parties. For Ricciardo, he has the option to change allegiance if an opening presents itself in the driver market.
Having spent over 18 months struggling at McLaren, there is little evidence to suggest he will get the better of his teammate Lando Norris.
However, Ricciardo's market value has undoubtedly taken a hit since joining McLaren. Just 18 months ago, he was a driver many teams targeted, but it seems unlikely Ricciardo will find a seat that wouldn't be deemed as a step backwards.
It seems bizarre McLaren would negotiate a contract without any performance clauses, but this perhaps speaks to the height of DR3's appeal in the 2020 driver market.
McLaren has the young, fast and widely popular Patricio O'ward waiting for an opportunity in F1, providing McLaren further incentive to replace Ricciardo.
Regardless of who has the last word at McLaren, the next few months will almost certainly feature more developments about the team's driver situation.