Daniel Ricciardo
Fans of McLaren's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo were out in force AFP / William WEST

The Formula 1 silly season is well and truly under way, triggered by Aston Martin's announcement on Fernando Alonso's multi-year deal. Now, McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo finds himself in the the middle of a game of musical chairs as his future is put in limbo.

The Australian has confirmed just a few weeks ago that he has no intention of hanging up his helmet at the end of the current season. However, due to the fact that he does not appear to be able to adjust to his car even after more than a season and a half, with McLaren, speculations are rife that the team is letting him go and he may either head back to Alpine (formerly Renault) or be forced to retire.

After Alonso announced that he will vacate his Alpine seat next year to fill the one that will be left by the retiring Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin, the team immediately announced that rookie Oscar Piastri will take over from the Spaniard. However, Piastri announced less than two hours later that he won't be joining Alpine, leading many to believe that he already has an agreement with McLaren.

It seems clear that Lando Norris will stay, leaving Ricciardo out on the street. Fans weighed in on whether or not they believed he should stay or go. He is one of the fan favourites, and supporters came out in force on social media.

One showed a clip of his driving skills from the recently-concluded Hungarian GP:

Another slammed the team for their treatment of the Australian:

Another said that Mclaren owe the driver an explanation if they indeed have a contract with Piastri:

While there are still a number of options for Ricciardo, many F1 fans are also saying that his performances, especially against teammate Lando Norris, have shown that he has lost his edge.

Ricciardo is also one of the highest paid drivers on the grid, meaning not too many teams will be keen on signing him over a promising new rookie as long as they have enough experience on the other seat.

The new generation of drivers have had a number of standouts, showing that a gamble on a promising talent can really pay off, such as with Norris. More than halfway through the current season, Norris has 76 points against Ricciardo's 19. It's a huge gap, one that reflects the same results as last season where they finished with 160 and 115 points respectively.

It remains to be seen what will happen, but there is no doubt that millions of fans are feeling a lot of anxiety at the moment, just like the driver himself.