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Daniel Ricciardo shoots down RB rumours as Marko names potential replacement

The Australian is yet to score a point in 2024 and that has put his RB future under scrutiny.

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Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed speculation that he could be replaced in the Visa Cash App RB team after just five races, as the under-pressure driver faces a crucial weekend at the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo is yet to score a point for RB this season and has been outperformed by his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, who impressed with seven points from his two races in Australia and Japan.

There will be some concerns over Ricciardo’s future, especially considering how Nyck de Vries was unceremoniously dumped by the team in 2023 just 10 races into his F1 career.

When asked if there is the possibility of the Australian meeting the same fate, Ricciardo told select members of press in Shanghai, including Total-Motorsport.com: “No, there isn’t. Anything can happen, so I’m also not naive, but I haven’t had any indication of that.”

Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during practice ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB is confident he will not be replaced. | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

While Ricciardo appears confident he has time to turn things around, Helmut Marko has refused to rule out another mid-season change at RB, hinting Liam Lawson could be given a chance to drive with their sights already set on 2025.

“Of course, with Lawson as reserve driver, we have a strong driver in the team who is contractually entitled to drive for another team if he does not get into the cockpit with us in 2025,” Marko told Kleine Zeitung.

“In this regard, it would be exciting for us if we could see him in Formula 1 this year to get an even clearer picture. But this is a complex topic and we have to see what happens next.”

Ricciardo reassures RB team

The fact the 34-year-old crashed out on the first lap of the Japanese GP after a collision with Alex Albon did him no favours whatsoever, but Ricciardo insists it was an isolated incident.

“You look how the season’s gone and it’s like ‘Oh, that’s like a bit of a hit’. But I was very clear to the team and especially like my team, after that weekend, I was like ‘guys, today was a one-off incident’,” Ricciardo added.

“I don’t think that was a build up of anything that’s obviously happening so far this year with my results.”

Ricciardo later said: “Even last year, I showed the signs of speed and everything, that maybe I didn’t always show with McLaren, so they we felt like we got that back out of me.

“For whatever reason, it hasn’t quite been there so far this year, but I think they know it’s there and also what we’re doing on the sim. They can see that it’s there, so now we’ve just got to put it together.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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