No decision yet on Ricciardo vs Lawson for 2025 – CEO

Fri, 28 June 2024, 09:46

Jun.28 (GMM) Peter Bayer, CEO of Red Bull’s second Formula 1 team RB, says no decision has been taken about whether Daniel Ricciardo is staying on board for 2025.

The team has already confirmed Yuki Tsunoda, producing a dilemma – giving Liam Lawson his full-time F1 debut next year, or potentially losing him to a competitor.

Red Bull F1 advisor Dr Helmut Marko said this week that he’s under pressure to oust the underperforming Ricciardo.

“The shareholders have made it known that it is a junior team and we have to act accordingly,” he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

“We have to put a young driver in there soon. That would be Liam Lawson.”

When asked about Marko’s seemingly clear-cut response, 34-year-old Ricciardo insisted on Thursday that he has “no opinion” about what it means.

“There’s been no pressure, no ultimatums, but of course when you’re looking at performance then that’s up until the summer break,” said the Australian.

“I’ve been in the sport for a long time, so I know that if I get my ass kicked every weekend, at some point someone will say ‘Hey, mate, step up, or else’. But that hasn’t happened yet.”

Ricciardo thinks Marko’s comments are designed to give him “a bit of a boost” but he admitted that he has no real alternatives to the Red Bull family for 2025.

However, team CEO Bayer agreed with Marko’s statement that RB is repositioning itself as a ‘junior team’.

“The owners have actually stated this, but I don’t necessarily want to call it a junior team,” he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

“Our job is to develop young drivers, but we also have the job of being successful in terms of sport and business, and that cannot be achieved with young drivers alone. That’s why we believe that the mix of a young driver and an experienced driver is perfect.”

But that doesn’t mean Ricciardo is safe, Bayer admits.

“We have extended Yuki’s contract for the long term, which makes me extremely happy,” he said. “Now we have another decision to make for 2025. But we are not in a rush.

“It is a luxury that we have Liam Lawson as a reserve and simulator driver. At the same time, we want to give Daniel time to prove himself, and then we will make a decision.”

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