Big Daniel Ricciardo boost received after latest Liam Lawson replacement rumours

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo, RB, 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo says he isn't living in fear of being ousted

Daniel Ricciardo has “absolutely” the same potential today as he did when he rejoined the F1 grid last season, that’s according to RB boss Laurent Mekies who has given the struggling Aussie a big vote of confidence.

Having called time on his F1 career after two underwhelming years with McLaren, Ricciardo returned to Formula 1 last season with Red Bull’s sister team when he replaced the beleaguered Nyck de Vries.

RB ‘absolutely’ believe in Daniel Ricciardo

While he didn’t set the stage alight in what was a trying campaign for the junior team, recording the team’s best result of the campaign with a P7 in Mexico, Ricciardo did enough to retain the seat for the 2024 season.

Alas, it has not gone to plan.

Although the Aussie was billed as RB’s team leader and the biggest threat to Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat, his results tell a different story.

He has been out-qualified by Yuki Tsunoda 4-1 and out-scored 7-0 which has led to speculation that Ricciardo’s days at RB could be numbered.

According to rumours, Ricciardo has until after the Miami Grand Prix to prove to Red Bull he still has what it takes while other rumours claim the summer break is the deadline with Liam Lawson waiting in the wings.

But it seems, according to team boss Mekies, Lawson may have to wait a bit longer.

“Yeah, absolutely,” said the team boss when asked whether he believes in Ricciardo.

“It’s the DNA of our job to try to identify what car set-up is needed for both the car and the drivers to perform at their best, and that is what we are doing with both our drivers.

“We have seen a strong growth from Yuki and we are seeing a Daniel getting back on his trajectory.” recommends

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It is a trajectory that took a noticeable upswing in China when Ricciardo was given a new chassis by RB.

But it is one Mekies said was already showing signs of moving in the right direction even before the new chassis was delivered.

“Already in Saudi, we were starting to say that we were seeing stuff that made us understand how to support him better,” he said. “So yeah, the trajectory is good.

“We have not reached the finish line there and we have a few things mid-term coming to help him feel better in the car and to make sure that our car suits his driving style the best.

“But certainly it will be a good confidence boost to see that there is tangible progress like we saw over [China] weekend.”

He added: “Unlike what is perhaps perceived from the outside, during all this difficult start to the season, he has been very focused, very calm, very rational about it.

“We looked at the limitations of the car, and what he needed to go faster. Some of the steps you can do quickly, but first you need to understand it. Then once you have understood, some of the steps you can act quickly, and some others will take more time.

“We have tried to tick as many boxes as we could, but we certainly don’t stop here.”

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