Formula 1 Racing

Ricciardo thinks he has time to save RB F1 seat despite Marko comments

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Daniel Ricciardo believes his results in the 2024’s pre-summer break races are key to his RB Formula 1 stint continuing, as interest in Red Bull’s intentions in promoting Liam Lawson intensifies.

This week, comments made by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko have heaped pressure on Ricciardo, who had been expected to be a candidate to replace Sergio Perez alongside Max Verstappen for 2025 before his results this term were initially poor.

This is specifically in relation to Ricciardo’s RB team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, who has outscored the Australian by 19-9 in points terms and will stay with the squad until 2025.

Red Bull also moved to re-sign Perez on a new deal potentially covering up to the end of 2026.

This has created a logjam in its junior driver programme, with Lawson, who impressed standing in for the injured Ricciardo in five races after Nyck de Vries was dropped mid-way through 2022, understood to be free to leave the Red Bull fold if it cannot offer him a 2025 race drive.

“The shareholders have made it known that [RB] is a junior team and we have to act accordingly,” Marko said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung.

“The goal was that [Ricciardo] would be considered for Red Bull Racing with exceptional performances,” he added. “That seat now belongs to Sergio Perez, so that plan is no longer valid.

“We have to put a young driver in there soon. That would be Liam Lawson.”

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

When asked about Marko’s comments by ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Ricciardo replied: “I don’t feel one way or another about it.

“I still know that the overriding thing in this sport is performance. That’s it. And that’s what will give me my best chance of staying here.

“I know that. It’s not going to be my smile or anything else. It’s the on-track stuff. So, I’ve obviously got a good opportunity.

“Obviously, I say until the summer break. I don’t think that’s a deadline. But that’s what you look at for the first half of the season.

‘[I’ll] try to do what I can and obviously help my cause.”

The new speculation on Ricciardo’s position within the Red Bull fold follows RB’s poor showing with new upgrades to its 2024 car last weekend at the Spanish GP, where Ricciardo was 15th and Tsunoda ended up 19th.

“I look back at Barcelona and it’s hard to get excited about a 15th, but I actually…

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