‘Feel like something going to change quite soon’ – Daniel Ricciardo RB future questioned after fresh setback

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo on the pitwall at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

RB driver Daniel Ricciardo.

After Daniel Ricciardo was described as “much, much, much down in the dumps” at Suzuka, Channel 4’s Formula 1 presenter Steve Jones hinted that an RB driver swap could be on the horizon.

Ricciardo arrived at Suzuka in need of a much-improved race weekend with his poor start to F1 2024 having sparked question marks over his future with Red Bull’s second team. Qualifying suggested that a breakthrough had perhaps been achieved, but the race proved to be a major setback.

Daniel Ricciardo at risk of losing RB seat?

After missing FP1 to give young driver Ayumu Iwasa his hour at the wheel, Ricciardo got himself up to speed for qualifying and narrowly missed out on a Q3 spot, ironically eliminated by his RB team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

The race was over for Ricciardo on the first lap though, as his poor start saw him meet the fast-starting Williams of Alex Albon, a slight touch all that was needed to send both of them into the barriers.

Formula 1 correspondent Lawrence Barretto spoke of seeing a dejected Ricciardo in the aftermath.

Asked by Channel 4 presenter Jones if he had spoken to Ricciardo, Barretto replied: “I did. He was much, much, much down in the dumps I would say.

“Disappointed, couldn’t find any positives, couldn’t really explain anything. Had nothing really to say on the matter.”

Red Bull do have options available to them should they decide Ricciardo is not the right driver for that RB seat moving forward, with Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson at the head of the queue, the New Zealander having impressed in his stint with the team last season in place of the injured Ricciardo.

And Jones believes the signs are ominous for Ricciardo if he continues to struggle in his efforts to gain control over team-mate Tsunoda.

“It’s tough, we’ll keep an eye on it, but I feel something is going to change quite soon, possibly,” Jones predicted.

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Former British racer and Channel 4 pundit Billy Monger meanwhile said Ricciardo’s situation is getting “hard to watch”, as he struggles to outperform a team-mate “untested at the highest level” in Tsunoda.

“When that line-up was confirmed, we kind of thought Daniel could assert his authority,” said Monger.

“He’s got so much experience in Formula 1, he’s had such a good track record in Formula 1, he’s won grand prixs, and Yuki still – to a certain extent – untested at the highest level.

“I think just the way things are going, it just feels hard to watch almost.”

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber gave a rather blunt assessment of Ricciardo’s situation, saying: “I think he knows he should be getting more out of it at the moment.”

RB are set to introduce a new chassis for Ricciardo at the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix.

Read next – How Daniel Ricciardo actually helped Max Verstappen to easier win in Japan