Christian Horner responds to Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles as pressure mounts at Red Bull

Oliver Harden
A side-profile shot of Christian Horner with insets of Daniel Ricciardo and a Red Bull logo

Christian Horner oversaw Daniel Ricciardo's peak years at Red Bull

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has backed Daniel Ricciardo to “fight back” after a disappointing start to the F1 2024 season left his future in serious doubt.

Ricciardo has made no secret of his desire to return to the senior Red Bull team since reclaiming a place on the grid last summer, but saw his mid-2023 progress disrupted by a broken hand sustained in a practice crash at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Christian Horner weighs in on Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 2024 woes

Despite Liam Lawson impressing in his absence, Ricciardo was retained by the new-look RB team for 2024 but has struggled alongside team-mate Yuki Tsunoda across the opening four races of the new season.

While Tsunoda is on a run of three consecutive Q3 appearances, scoring points in the last two races in Australia and Japan, Ricciardo has failed to finish higher than 12th so far this season.

Despite showing improved pace in qualifying, Ricciardo’s season slumped to a new low at Suzuka last weekend as he retired on the opening lap after a collision with Alex Albon’s Williams. recommends

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Seven must-see F1 weekends to tick off your 2024 bucket list – and how to get there as cheaply as possible understands that suggestions that Ricciardo’s seat is in immediate danger are premature, with the Australian to receive a new chassis at next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix in a desperate bid to get his season back on track.

Horner, who oversaw Ricciardo’s peak years at Red Bull between 2014 and 2018 before two ill-fated moves to Renault and McLaren, has backed the 34-year-old to come good with plenty of time remaining to turn his situation around.

According to Motorsport-Total, he said: “Daniel is a big boy and has been around for a long time. He knows how things work.

“He just needs a good result and then the smile will return.

“I’m sure he’ll fight back. We’re only at race four.”

Horner’s comments come after former F1 driver Thierry Boutsen remarked that is “very sad to see” Ricciardo struggling so badly.

In an exclusive interview with’s Thomas Maher, he said: “He’s shown, for the last few years, he’s had chances.

“When he was at McLaren, and even today, he’s got a good car. He’s got a car that should allow him to perform and make some sparkling moments. But he doesn’t do that.

“So it’s very sad to see him in this position. I think his talent is there, that’s for sure. He’s proven it in the past. But he’s not capable of using it, because something else is pushing him down.

“I don’t know what’s going on from the outside.

“If I was the team manager and trying to make my team win, I would like to have drivers who have no psychological problems, and no pressure – they’re just there to win and to do everything to win.

“You need to put everything to the side and just concentrate on one thing. If you have some kind of problem, somehow, you don’t give 100 per cent.

“That’s not what is needed in Formula 1. You don’t deserve your seat if it’s like this.”

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