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Ricciardo's Crucial Fight to Save F1 Career

Ricciardo’s Crucial Fight to Save F1 Career

25/03/2024

Daniel Ricciardo faces a critical moment in his F1 career, with Helmut Marko’s ultimatum and disappointing home performance sparking debate. With just two races to prove himself, the stakes have never been higher.

Are Daniel Ricciardo’s days in F1 numbered? Following the Australian’s latest disappointing performance on home soil at the last Grand Prix (while Yuki Tsunoda made it to Q3 and finished 7th), there’s reason to believe so. Helmut Marko has been steadily increasing the pressure with each statement…

Daniel Ricciardo reportedly has two races to turn his season around or he could risk being replaced by Liam Lawson for the Miami Grand Prix.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Ricciardo received an “ultimatum” from Marko after this poor start to the 2024 season.

However, not all is lost for Daniel Ricciardo: after all, only 3 Grands Prix have been contested.

“I truly believe I can do it,” insists the former McLaren and Renault F1 driver today.

He can do it, then – but how to dig himself out of this hole?

“It’s probably a two-part process. I need to first dive into the data and examine my driving: ‘Why am I doing this? Is it because of what I’m feeling?’ I then try to answer or correlate that to the data and talk to the engineers. And I ask them too: why am I feeling this?”

“Throughout the race, there are things I’ll mark. We have, say, a button on the steering wheel I can use to mark a reference in the data to say, ‘Oh, this lap, I felt something there.’ I’m not giving away any secrets, but just things I remember to discuss with the engineers afterward, so there are a few points in the race that I’ve marked, let’s say, and it’s good to have that understanding, that data collection, and all that.”

“I definitely ask the engineers a lot of questions and I also ask myself a lot of questions, so I wouldn’t say there’s panic on board.”

Might the VCARB, in its first iteration, simply not suit Daniel Ricciardo’s driving style?

“I wish the season had started better, but we’re going to keep digging. The car hasn’t really changed compared to last year. Obviously, it has evolved a bit, but its characteristics and everything else are very similar. So, I think there’s reason to be confident.”

“It’s not that we’ve changed everything and suddenly this car suits Yuki and not me, I definitely don’t feel that’s the case. I think we’ll find something. I thought it would be this weekend, in Australia. Maybe it will be the next one, and if it’s not the next, we’ll continue until it happens, and it will happen.”

“I know I’m in this little process or journey right now. I just need to focus on myself. I think if I let that noise in, it’s going to distract me from the path I’m on. I think I’ve done really well not to let those negative things seep into me…”

Daniel Ricciardo’s nearly catastrophic start to the season is, in any case, a surprise, even a shock to the paddock – including for Ricciardo himself.

“I didn’t expect to start the season this way. In Budapest last year, I beat Yuki in qualifications… and I had a really good race while I was not at all familiar with the car. And I had an entire preseason this year and all of last year’s races, and with all that, I honestly thought we’d start this year much stronger.”

“The important thing is that I stay on the right track, not that my head is filled with nonsense or anything else. Honestly, I feel good and it’s just that, unfortunately, the results haven’t allowed me to feel great. But deep down, behind the wheel, I feel good.”

Ricciardo’s Crucial Fight to Save F1 Career. Ricciardo’s Crucial Fight to Save F1 Career

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