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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo Tsunoda futures clearer as Marko words set to fall flat for rising Red Bull star

Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda appear one step closer to being on the F1 grid in 2025 but what of Liam Lawson?

Ricciardo Tsunoda Miami Sunday
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Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda appear poised to retain their seats with RB for 2025, leaving reserve driver Liam Lawson potentially out in the cold and wondering where his future may lie.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko suggested last year that Lawson would be on the grid in 2025 following a superb five-race cameo deputising for the injured Ricciardo that thrust him into the F1 spotlight.

Marko was so impressed with Lawson that he said prior to the Qatar Grand Prix the New Zealander "will be there [in F1] by 2025 at the latest".

Ricciardo's poor start to this season swiftly prompted suggestions he would be axed in favour of Lawson, only to stage a recovery after receiving a new chassis that altered his mindset and performances.

Tsunoda, meanwhile, has so far out-performed Ricciardo, leaving RB CEO Peter Bayer unequivocal in his determination to retain the Japanese driver.

Full of praise for what he has seen so far from Tsunoda, who has scored points in four of the last five races and 15 of its overall total of 20, Bayer said: "I definitely believe he has made a big step forward.

"It's physical preparation, but it's also his mental readiness to perform and deliver. One example, I mentioned the other day: I think he simply understood that every time he would be swearing on the radio, that would cost him a tenth [of a second].

"So he's got himself under control. He's extremely professional in the work that he's putting into the feedback with the engineers. And yes, he has definitely made a big step up."

As to when he would be confirming his driver line-up, Bayer made clear that Ricciardo definitely figures in the team's plans.

"We're very happy with both of our drivers," he said: "And honestly, we're not wasting time with discussing ifs and whens. We have a very strong line-up."

Bayer also insisted the team has "a great reserve driver" and "an extremely valuable member of the team", but who is out of contract at the end of this season.

As to his prospects, and reminded of Marko's comment from last year, Bayer said: "He's with us every weekend, obviously. He's doing a lot of work in the simulator.

"But as I said before, currently we have two drivers in the cars. We are finding performance with the two.

"We really do not discuss the 2025 situation, perhaps because we're in a luxury situation of having that strong grassroot pyramid behind us. So the focus is really on track and on the next couple of races until the summer break."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying