Damning indictment of ‘laughing’ Daniel Ricciardo who ‘just doesn’t have it anymore’

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has found life tough going so far in 2024.

Spending too much time laughing, and not enough focusing on racing, Christijan Albers is irritated with Daniel Ricciardo who “just doesn’t have it anymore”.

Three races into this season, Ricciardo has been overshadowed by his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda as the two RB drivers go head-to-head for the chance to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull next season.

Christijan Albers ‘irritated’ with Daniel Ricciardo

The divide between the 2025 Red Bull hopefuls was evident at Ricciardo’s home race in Australia where he qualified P18 while Tsunoda made it into the top ten in eighth place. Even Ricciardo’s deleted lap from Q1 was not a match for his team-mate’s lap time.

So much so Ricciardo doubts he could’ve been on a par with Tsunoda’s pace in Q2.

Telling the media he “got everything out of” the car, the Honey Badger admitted it “still wasn’t good enough, let’s say compared to Yuki.

“Looking at the time he’s doing in Q2, I could tell you now, I can’t get seven more tenths out of it than what I got in Q1.”

Tsunoda went on to finish the Grand Prix in seventh place, matching the team’s best result from 2023, with Ricciardo P12 and a lap down.

Former F1 driver Albers has laid into Ricciardo, saying he should focus more on the racing than the off-track laughs.

“What irritates me a little bit is that he keeps laughing and doing activities around driving,” he told De Telegraaf podcast. “Just focus on the racing.

“Only then can you start being funny again.

“As a driver you want to go into hiding until you have beaten the rest, and then you can show yourself again. With him it is the other way around. All those activities are just painful.”

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Christijan Albers advocates for Liam Lawson to take the RB seat

But while reports that Ricciardo has two races to save his seat before Red Bull put Liam Lawson in the car have been denied by the team, Albers cannot understand why the team hasn’t already made that decision.

“I don’t understand what the fear is about this choice. I just don’t understand it,” he said.

“Let’s be honest: Lawson beat Yuki Tsunoda in those few races. And Tsunoda has consistently been stronger than Nyck de Vries and Daniel Ricciardo.

“I don’t see this going well with Ricciardo. He just doesn’t have it anymore.”

He added: “He just has to make sure he beats the others. I just don’t think it’s fair.

“You have a Lawson, who has performed fantastically. He just needs to be given a chance, and he doesn’t get one. The whole purpose of the team is to train and promote young talent.”

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