Helmut Marko warns Daniel Ricciardo ‘has to come up with something soon’

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo smiling as he walks with Yuki Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo smiling as he walks with Yuki Tsunoda.

As three drivers vie for the 2025 Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko has warned Daniel Ricciardo that he has “to come up with something soon” after back-to-back disappointing races.

Outqualified by Yuki Tsunoda two races in a row, the Japanese driver extended his qualifying margin over his team-mate to half a second in Saudi Arabia and went on to put his VCARB01 inside the top ten.

There’s ‘a lot at stake’ for Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda

Between a lengthy pit stop for the Aussie and a five-second penalty for Tsunoda for an unsafe release, neither RB driver scored a single point in what’s proving to be a disappointing start to the season for the much-hyped junior team.

But in the midst of the high expectations that RB would be challenging in Formula 1’s midfield, Max Verstappen even predicting they could achieve a podium result this season, is the internal battle to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull Racing next season.

So far it’s Perez who is winning that.

With back-to-back runner-up results, the Mexican driver is doing exactly what Red Bull want and that’s picking up the points behind the race-winning Verstappen.

However, further back at RB it seems Tsunoda’s the one who is currently next in line with Marko at least impressed with his performances in qualifying.

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“A word about the Racing Bulls,” he said in his Speedweek column. “There’s a lot at stake this season for both Yuki and Daniel.

“Yuki’s qualifying performance was very good and Ricciardo has to come up with something soon.”

The Austrian, though, is looking for improvement from RB as a whole as the team has struggled for pace in the Grands Prix with Tsunoda dropping from ninth to 14th in Saudi Arabia.

“Where there is work,” Marko added, “at least Tsunoda is very good in qualifying, then they are at the top of the World Championship points in the first stint, only to fall further and further behind afterwards.

“They cannot maintain the speed in the long term. Whether they are putting too much strain on the tyres or there are other reasons is what they need to find out.”

With Liam Lawson waiting in the wings at Red Bull there’s even more at stake ahead of the 2025 season as, should Red Bull opt to continue with Perez who is doing a great job so far this season, then either Tsunoda or Ricciardo could find themselves out of a job if the team promotes reserve driver Lawson.

Read next: Liam Lawson facing big Red Bull dilemma as he looks to reignite his F1 dream