Ricciardo ‘not thinking’ about 2025 F1 seat yet

Wed, 5 June 2024, 09:31

Jun.5 (GMM) Daniel Ricciardo admits his Formula 1 future beyond 2024 remains in doubt.

The 34-year-old Australian’s career was revived by Red Bull mid-last year, in the wake of his forced and premature departure from McLaren at the end of 2022.

Ricciardo was placed at the junior team Alpha Tauri (now RB), with the eight-time grand prix winner openly admitting that he was eyeing a return to the top team Red Bull Racing.

However, it is Yuki Tsunoda who has looked the consistently better RB driver so far this year – revving up speculation Red Bull will replace Ricciardo with the impatient reserve Liam Lawson for 2025.

Complicating the issue is that Tsunoda’s strong 2024 form has been attracting the interest of rival teams, including Williams, Haas, Sauber, Alpine, and even Aston Martin, which will be powered by Tsunoda backer Honda from 2026.

“It’s a luxury problem,” Red Bull’s F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Kleine Zeitung. “We also have another Honda driver besides Tsunoda in Ayumu Iwasa and both have long-term contracts with us, so we have to see how this matter continues.”

In Monaco recently, however, RB CEO Peter Bayer indicated that he is actually looking to retain both Ricciardo and Tsunoda for 2025.

“I think we’re very happy with both of our drivers,” he said. “And honestly, we’re not wasting time discussing ifs and whens. We have a very strong lineup.”

When asked about his boss’s comments, Ricciardo said: “It’s nice to hear, but I’m not thinking about it too much yet.

“I first want to consistently do better. I’m obviously not happy with my deficit (to Tsunoda). It’s frustrating.

“We’re trying to find where I’m losing time, but there is always something. After all, this is Formula 1 and it’s never perfect.”

Ricciardo insists, however, that he still feels the support of Red Bull and RB.

“Everyone continues to support me,” he confirmed. “They know I can do it, but this year it’s just a challenge to do it every weekend.

“That’s why I don’t want to rest on my laurels now, make myself comfortable and focus on the future. I want to do better now.”

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