Daniel Ricciardo hits back as Helmut Marko spells premature end to F1 career at RB

Liam Lawson could replace Daniel Ricciardo at RB as early as the 2024 Hungarian GP in July

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Daniel Ricciardo believes his Formula 1 future is still in his own hands despite Helmut Marko signalling Liam Lawson is set to take his RB seat mid-season, in the same manner that the Australian displaced Nyck de Vries 12 months ago.

Marko told Austrian publication Kleine Zeitung that Red Bull had hoped Ricciardo could put pressure on Sergio Perez for a place in the top team but with the Mexican now signed up for 2025, shareholders want the junior team to ‘act accordingly’ and that Lawson will replace him soon.

With the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix in the middle of a triple-header that ends at Silverstone, Red Bull reportedly could swing the axe with two races until the summer break despite the Australian’s sterling eighth-place Canadian GP finish before the whole team struggled last time out in Spain.

“On the Helmut stuff honestly it’s fine. It doesn’t change what I’m going to do,” Ricciardo told members of the press including Total-Motorsport.com, with the RicciardoMarko clash set against the backdrop of a wider civil war at Red Bull. “I’ve become really good at not reading things, so I actually didn’t know about it until I was told when I got here.

“But I don’t feel one way or another about it – the overriding thing in this sport is performance, 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 so I’ve got a good opportunity.

“I say until the summer break, I don’t think that’s a deadline, but obviously that’s where you look at for the first half of the season, so try to do what I can and 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

“I think that’s what I’ve certainly had trouble doing this year, having a string of good results. Two is still not enough of course at least for where I want to be but now we have two more ahead so I definitely have chance to get into the summer break with momentum.”

RB's Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
RB’s Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Ricciardo: I made Marko smile despite clash

Liam Lawson is set for an F1 test at Imola as Ricciardo and Marko clash, though his Antipodean colleague wished him luck for the test and insisted he was only focussed on what he can control.

Lawson enjoyed a stellar 2023 cameo when Ricciardo was ruled out of five races with a broken hand, impressing immediately with a 13th-place finish on debut in Zandvoort and following that up with ninth in Singapore which was AlphaTauri‘s best result of the season at that point.

“Obviously currently I’m in the race seat so I’ve got to do everything I can to control the things I can,” Ricciardo added.

“And if I kick arse here, if I kick arse in Silverstone then I think the narrative can change so I think that’s where I 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 so it’s still so heavily on performance.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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