Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo Responds to Latest Helmut Marko Comments

4 Mins read
Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo has responded to comments from Dr. Helmut Marko suggesting that he could be replaced by Liam Lawson in 2025, or even earlier, at Visa Cash App RB.

Ricciardo only returned to Scuderia AlphaTauri (now RB) for the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, and missed a large part of the 2023 season due to injury, where Lawson raced in his place, putting in a few impressive performances.

Since returning to the Oracle Red Bull Racing family, Ricciardo has enjoyed a mix bag of results. Some have been extremely impressive such as the 2023 Mexican Grand Prix and the 2024 Miami Grand Prix Sprint, where he secured a fourth place finish, but these have also been mixed with some indifferent performances, where he’s struggled for pace.

Yuki Tsunoda is 10 points ahead of Ricciardo in the World Drivers Championship but since the Australian’s chassis was switched at the Japanese Grand Prix, there hasn’t been much to split the two in terms of on track performance. 

It hasn’t been the return to the Red Bull family that Ricciardo wanted with Sergio Pérez having his contract extended with the main team recently, meaning his only chance to stay within Red Bull is via the only remaining RB seat for 2025, with Tsunoda already tied down to a deal.

Earlier this week, Red Bull advisor, Marko suggested that the Austrian brand’s shareholders have a desire to see a young driver integrated into the second team, but it has been discussed in the past by senior figures that RB should move in a different direction. Ricciardo was a key part in developing the RB01, which has allowed the team to already surpass its 2023 points total.

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Speaking on media day ahead of the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix, Ricciardo responded to Marko: “I’ve become really good at not reading things. I actually didn’t know about it until I was told when I got here. I don’t feel one way or another about it.

“I still know that the overriding thing in this sport is performance, and that’s it. 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.

“I’ve obviously got a good opportunity, I say until the summer break, I don’t think that’s a deadline, but that’s obviously where you look at for the first half of the season. I’m trying to do what I can and obviously help my cause. I look back at Barcelona, and it’s hard to get excited about a 15th, but actually I was really happy with my race.

“So I would say it’s at least now two better weekends in a row. That’s what I’ve certainly had trouble doing this year, is having a kind of string of good results. Two is not enough of course, at least for where I want to be. Now we have two more ahead. I definitely have a chance to get into the summer break with some momentum.

“And on the Helmut [Marko] stuff, honestly, it’s fine. It doesn’t change what I’m going to do.”

While Nyck de Vries only lasted 10 races last season, his performances weren’t anywhere the level that Ricciardo has been performing. Despite having a tough start, the 34-year-old has shown his class at times and the last few weeks have been an improvement.

Ricciardo isn’t worried about the prospect of being replaced by Lawson, and is hoping to “change the narrative” with two good results at the upcoming race weekends in Austria and Silverstone.

“I’m currently in the race seat, so I’ve got to do everything I can to control the things that I can. If I kick a** here, if I kick a** at Silverstone, then I think the narrative can change. I think I obviously have to own that and be on top of what I can do.

“I’m sure qualifying fifth in Montreal made Helmut smile. If I can do that a few more times, then I’m sure I’ll make him smile. It’s still so heavily on performance, and yeah, just keep focused on that.”

Daniel Ricciardo speaking to Helmut Marko and Christian Horner during his time at Red Bull Racing – Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Ricciardo has reiterated that there hasn’t been any pressure placed on him, and the support around him from senior figures in both Red Bull and RB has been unwavering.

“There hasn’t been any pressure, ultimatum, nothing like that. I’ve been in the sport a long time, I know that if I get my a** kicked every weekend, at some point, someone will be like ‘hey mate, step it up, otherwise’ but I haven’t had that.

“I said, I’m aware that having a good race every so often isn’t good enough, but also not where I want to be. I don’t want to have an odd high and a bunch of lows.

“I think I’ve had good support from, obviously you mentioned Christian [Horner], but from Laurent [Mekies], from everyone.

“They’re doing what they can, obviously, but then at some point, I’m the one in the car and I’ve got to push that right throttle a bit harder.”

Following the rumours, sports publication Sportskeeda reached out to a Red Bull spokesperson and they confirmed that there will be, “No change to driver line up for the foreseeable.”

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