Marko Dismisses Ricciardo Rumors, But Driver Change Is Reportedly Not Completely Ruled Out

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 at 00:00
Updated at Wednesday, 27 March 2024 at 13:05
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Red Bull's advisor called recent rumors about Daniel Ricciardo's two-race ultimatum at Racing Bulls "fables."
Daniel Ricciardo, the driver who was expected to be the most likely replacement for Sergio Perez in Red Bull, wasn't so far able to show convincing performances in RB.
After the first three races of the season, he is clearly losing in head-to-head comparison with his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who scored six super-valuable points for the Italy-based team during the most recent race at Albert Park Circuit.
Consequently, many people and experts started saying that the Honey Badger doesn't deserve the seat in Red Bull. Moreover, a rumor spread over the last few days that the 34-year-old's future in RB is now even at risk.
The New Zealand Herald reported that Ricciardo was given a two-race ultimatum, which meant he had to improve his performances during the Japanese and Chinese Grand Prix or be replaced by Liam Lawson.
The report also suggested that the 22-year-old Kiwi driver is currently the primary alternative for Max Verstappen's teammate seat.
However, reportedly approached the 80-year-old Red Bull boss with the rumors, and he dismissed them, suggesting they belong to the "realm of fables." The report read:

"He emphasizes that there is no ultimatum for Ricciardo and speculates that the speculation may have been triggered by Ricciardo having to miss the first Friday practice session at the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka."

The camp of Liam Lawson also responded to the rumors, saying they had "no idea" where they came from. On the other hand, Motorsport-Total reports the driver change could still be on the table.

"If his performance does not improve by the summer break, a driver swap during the season cannot be ruled out."

It seems Ricciardo is safe for now, but it is important to note that a certain driver named Nyck De Vries was in the same seat last season and was replaced in 10 races for the same kind of performance.