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Christian Horner

Horner provides update on Ricciardo-Lawson situation at RB

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner did not rule out a mid-season switch between Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson at RB when asked at the Austrian GP.

Ricciardo Horner
To news overview © XPBimages

Christian Horner decided to not confirm that Daniel Ricciardo's seat at RB is safe for the rest of the current F1 season, when asked over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.

The Red Bull team principal has had to field questions on multiple drivers' futures of late, with speculation Max Verstappen will seek an early exit from his contract at the Milton Keynes squad and suggestions Sergio Perez was re-signed too soon.

Further still, the 50-year-old is now having to deal with the fallout from comments made by Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, who insisted that RB will soon have to put a young driver in the RB ahead over the trip to the Red Bull Ring.

Horner stated that "things are always fluid" in F1 when asked if Daniel Ricciardo's seat at RB was safe until the end of the 2024 season.

"I think anything regarding drivers is going to be dealt with in-house before we talk to the media about it," the Briton told media including RacingNews365 in Spielberg.

"They're all, as I say, Red Bull racing drivers and every Red Bull driver knows that there's always a pressure, that there's always a scrutiny. 

"But, Daniel is in the seat and it's down to him to make the most of that. And then, it's always, as we see in Formula 1, things are always fluid."

Ricciardo 'more than aware' of Red Bull pressure

Ricciardo enjoyed a strong result in Austria, capitalising on Lando Norris' late retirement to finish in ninth-place, scoring two points. That brings his tally for the year to 11, now just eight points behind Yuki Tsunoda.

Performances like the one he put in at the Red Bull Ring will go some way to allay fears about his immediate future, but the 34-year-old has struggled against his team-mate over the first half of the season.

That has meant that, instead of knocking on the door of Perez's seat at Red Bull, he is battling to retain his drive at RB, with Liam Lawson waiting in the wings.

"Well, I think Daniel, he knew this was a lifeline for him. His test at Silverstone was outstanding last year, which was what provided the opportunity," said Horner when assessing Ricciardo's current situation at RB.

"It's now for him to make use of that. And I'm sure by his own admission, the first part of the season didn't go to plan, but he's started to show signs of the old Daniel. We saw it in Miami. We saw it in the first part of the weekend there. We saw it in Montreal. 

"And obviously that's for Peter [Bayer] and Laurent [Mekies to decide if the Australian deserves to see out the season at RB]. 

"They're working closely with him. But in Formula 1, there's always pressure. He knows that better than anyone, and particularly in Red Bull when they're all Red Bull racing drivers, there's always pressure regarding any seat. But Daniel is more than aware of that."

Bayer, RB CEO, himself provided his input, adding: "Perhaps just to add on what Christian perfectly summarised, Liam is part of the team, he's our test driver, he's in the simulator. 

"As most of you know, he'll be in the TPC [testing of previous car]. We do our job to develop young drivers, but the decision on the second seat will be taken quietly and we're not in a hurry."

Also interesting:

In the latest RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the Austrian GP and look ahead to the British GP. Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' shocking clash is a HUGE talking point, as is Toto Wolff's radio blunder!

Rather watch the podcast? CLICK HERE!

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