Trouble for Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari statement – F1 news roundup

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Daniel Ricciardo in the Shanghai paddock with a prominent RB team logo alongside him

Are we witnessing the end of Daniel Ricciardo's F1 career at RB in 2024?

Thursday’s fast-paced F1 news wrap contains all the best paddock talk from the Chinese Grand Prix, the fifth race of the F1 2024 season, with Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton leading the way.

Best you never thought we’d be saying that in 2024, eh? Let’s dive into the day’s main F1 headlines…

F1 news: Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari and more

Liam Lawson contract clause to spell the end for Daniel Ricciardo?

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko is toying with the idea of replacing Daniel Ricciardo with Liam Lawson during the F1 2024 season after revealing a clause exists in the latter’s contract.

Lawson impressed in a five-race cameo for the injured Ricciardo in 2023, but was unable to force his way into the Red Bull junior team’s plans for 2024.

With Ricciardo struggling to match Yuki Tsunoda so far this season, Marko is warming to the idea of giving Lawson another chance to prove his worth.

Read more: Helmut Marko fuels Daniel Ricciardo mid-season swap threat as Liam Lawson contract clause revealed

Lewis Hamilton set on Ferrari move amid Mercedes woes

Lewis Hamilton said his decision to leave Mercedes for Ferrari doesn’t “need vindicating” and he hasn’t questioned the choice once.

The seven-time F1 World Champion will leave Mercedes to join Ferrari at the conclusion of the 2024 season, and says the decision is the “right” one for him at this point in his career.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton hits out at Ferrari ‘vindication’ theory as Mercedes W15 woes continue

Fernando Alonso pushed into new Aston Martin contract?

Fernando Alonso’s new Aston Martin contract was reportedly signed with a “gun to his head” amid an F1 2025 offer from Mercedes, with the availability of Carlos Sainz forcing him to reach a quick decision.

Alonso announced last week that he will remain in F1 until at least the end of the 2026 season, having signed a new multi-year contract with Aston Martin.

Read more: Fernando Alonso made Aston Martin decision ‘with gun to his head’ amid Mercedes offer – report

Carlos Sainz still has ‘best options’ to choose from for F1 2025

Sainz, meanwhile, is unperturbed by Alonso’s new contract,  insisting his “best options” for next season are still on the table after missing out on a potential opening at Aston Martin.

Despite learning over the winter that he will lose his Ferrari seat at the end of 2024, Sainz has enjoyed his best-ever start to a season and collected his third career victory in Australia last month.

Alonso’s new deal took one option off the table, but amid links to Red Bull, Mercedes and Audi Sainz believes he remains in a strong position in the driver market.

Read more: Carlos Sainz responds to Aston Martin snub with ‘best options still open’ claim

Alex Albon not holding back despite Williams woes

Alex Albon says he won’t adopt a cautious approach in China despite Williams’ spare parts shortage as he “might as well stay home” if he must drive below the limit.

Williams head into the first Sprint weekend of the F1 2024 season facing a notable shortage in spare parts as the team still do not have a spare chassis, and won’t have one until the next race in Miami at the earliest.

Read more: Alex Albon’s ‘might as well stay home’ quip amidst Williams’ spare parts shortage