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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo rumours 'nonsense' but F1 future warning issued

Daniel Ricciardo's RB seat has been under threat amid a difficult start to the season - but Helmut Marko has verified he will not be ousted ahead of Imola next weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has denied Daniel Ricciardo will be out of the RB team ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Following a difficult opening rounds to the 2024 Formula 1 season for Ricciardo, speculation arose that the Australian could soon be ousted from his drive.

Waiting on the sidelines for a full-time promotion is Liam Lawson, who stood in for Ricciardo at five races last year when the former Red Bull and McLaren driver injured his wrist at the Dutch Grand Prix.

The impressive substitute performances impressed many as Lawson made his claim for a full-time drive.

However, Marko has asserted that no such swap between Lawson and Ricciardo will occur at Imola next weekend.

“The rumours that Ricciardo will be replaced by Liam Lawson at Imola are nonsense,” Marko wrote in a column for Speedweek

“Liam's manager from New Zealand was there, apparently he has certain dreams and they are made known through some media - including from New Zealand. Nothing at all is planned in Imola.”

However, Marko hinted that Lawson's chance still may come going forward: “But of course we will look at this in the future.”

Marko confused over Miami form

Ricciardo's lacklustre season took an upward turn in Miami as he finished the sprint race in fourth place - resulting in praise from Marko.

“Daniel also delivered a remarkable performance in the sprint,” he said. “Fourth place was a sensation and he set the time in Sector 3. 

“This sector consists mainly of slow curves. If you drive precisely there, you will gain an incredible amount of time. And if you make a mistake, it's doubly punishing because of the slow speed.”

However, Marko was left mystified by Ricciarod's drop off in form as attention turned to qualifying and the grand prix.

“Three hours later, Ricciardo made a mistake [during qualifying] where he achieved his fourth place. 

“This meant he was out of the window in qualifying and was eliminated in Q1. But that wasn't all, because Ricciardo never got up to speed in the race either. 

“Yuki [Tsunoda] set consistently fast times, while Ricciardo lacked the speed and confidence that was evident in the sprint.”

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying