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Marko Clears Air on Ricciardo's F1 Future and Struggles

Marko Clears Air on Ricciardo’s F1 Future and Struggles

27/03/2024

Dr. Helmut Marko addresses speculation around Daniel Ricciardo’s performance and mental challenges, setting the record straight.

Marko has refuted rumors that Daniel Ricciardo was given an ultimatum to elevate his performance or risk losing his spot at RB F1 to Liam Lawson at the Miami GP. However, he acknowledged that the Australian has “a mental problem” that needs resolving before summer.

Red Bull’s advisor thus dismissed the rumors that emerged in the New Zealand press, sparked by Ricciardo’s struggles to keep up with Yuki Tsunoda thus far in 2024.

Marko clarified that journalists might have misunderstood Red Bull’s plans to temporarily sideline Ricciardo at Suzuka so that the team’s Japanese junior, Ayumu Iwasa, could take the Australian’s RB car for a spin during Friday’s free practice 1 for the Japanese GP.

Nonetheless, Marko stated, “we have to wait and see” what happens next with Ricciardo, as it becomes evident “he is currently not a strong enough contender for a potential promotion to the top team (Red Bull).”

Strong words, yet Marko explained his stance.

“Every driver sees the other’s data, so there are no secrets. They have the same car. Everything is the same.”

“Daniel has proven in the past he’s a fast driver, so it’s something mental. A mental problem.”

Ricciardo still enjoys support from the RB team, formerly AlphaTauri and Toro Rosso.

Technical Director, Jody Egginton, mentioned that the 34-year-old driver “is working hard to make the car more to his liking” and should be “in tune” “in the upcoming races.”

Marko thus looks forward to this turnaround even though some believe Sergio Perez is doing enough to secure another deal for 2025, also thanks to the essential support of his powerful Mexican sponsors.

“The decision on the Red Bull Racing duo for next year has been postponed to summer. That for the Racing Bulls duo will logically follow.”

And he admits, “Tsunoda needs to improve further if he is to be considered.”

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers doesn’t understand why Red Bull isn’t promoting Liam Lawson right away.

“I just don’t get the apprehension about this choice. Lawson outperformed Tsunoda in those few races last year. And Tsunoda has always been stronger than Nyck de Vries and Daniel Ricciardo.”

“What slightly annoys me about Ricciardo is that he continues to laugh and engage in activities other than driving. He should just focus on racing. Only then can he be funny again.”

“As a driver, you want to hide until you’ve beaten the others, then you can start to show off again. With him, it’s the opposite. All these activities are simply irrelevant.”

“I just don’t think it’s fair because Lawson deserves a chance, and he’s not getting one. Isn’t the goal of this team to train and promote young talent?”

Marko Clears Air on Ricciardo's F1 Future and Struggles

Marko Clears Air on Ricciardo’s F1 Future and Struggles. Marko Clears Air on Ricciardo’s F1 Future and Struggles

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