Daniel Ricciardo makes telling Yuki Tsunoda gap comparison as F1 2025 talks loom

Michelle Foster
A downbeat Daniel Ricciardo on the RB pit wall at Suzuka.

A downbeat Daniel Ricciardo.

Despite Peter Bayer saying he’s happy with the RB driver line-up, Daniel Ricciardo admits he wants to be “doing better” as he continues to trail Yuki Tsunoda.

Tsunoda is leading every RB battle that counts as he is up 19 points to five in the Drivers’ standings, 7-1 in their qualifying head-to-head and 6-1 in the grands prix.

Daniel Ricciardo admits his deficit to Yuki Tsunoda is ‘frustrating’

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

The stats have come as a surprise with the general consensus before the season being that Ricciardo would own his team-mate. He’s done anything but.

His struggles have led to rumours that he could be replaced by Liam Lawson before the season is over, although this has been denied by the team including Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

More recently it was CEO Peter Bayer who weighed in, saying: “Currently we have two drivers in the cars. We are finding performance with the two. And we really do not discuss the 2025 situation.”

The conversation, though, will turn to next year’s line-up around the summer break.

That gives Ricciardo six more races to prove to his Red Bull and RB bosses that he’s deserving of another season in Formula 1, perhaps even one with Red Bull.

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“I’ll be honest, I haven’t really given it too much [thought],” he told the media including PlanetF1.com when told Bayer was happy with the RB line-up.

“That’s great to hear, and yes, that would be awesome, but I want to be doing better consistently.

“The gap [to Tsunoda], maybe we do find something that [explains] that’s why I lost a bit here or there. There’ll probably always be something. This is F1 and it’s never perfect.

“I’m not happy with having these gaps. I think that’s what’s frustrating me a bit.

“Obviously the team has been great and they’ve been really supportive and obviously they know I can do it but it’s been a bit more of a struggle this year to do it week in, week out.

“That’s really where my focus is now as opposed to getting too comfortable or excited about what the future holds.

“I want to be doing better, whether that’s the car or me, just I want to be doing better.”

Ricciardo, though, won’t be judged solely on his results with RB boss Laurent Mekies exclusively telling PlanetF1.com that Ricciardo brings more to the team than just points.

“In the context of the projects, where the team needs to go and helping identify the gaps,” he said, “it hugely helps to have somebody like Daniel that won eight races, has been at a few teams and knows where the board can be and where the board needs to go.

“So his input into the team has been massive. So even when in the first couple of races the performance was in the uncomfortable zone, you were still bringing a massive amount of value to the team.”

He added: “We’ve been seeing very strong progress, some of that has been hidden to you guys.”

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