Marko Fuels Ricciardo Replacement Speculations With Liam Lawson Statement

Friday, 19 April 2024 at 02:00
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Helmut Marko commented on the situation surrounding Daniel Ricciardo and his possible substitute, Liam Lawson, during one of his latest interviews ahead of the 2024 season's fifth round.
Speaking to Speedcafe before the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo suggested he returned to F1 because he believes he can compete for podiums and race wins again.
The problem is that he hasn't shown too much in the first four rounds of the 2024 season. At the moment, he is clearly losing a head-to-head battle with his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda.
The comparison to the Japanese driver is very important for the 34-year-old driver, as Helmut Marko explained to Kleine Zeitung. Asked whether he expected more from the Honey Badger, he replied:

"The challenge for him was that he clearly had to be faster than Yuki if he wanted to have any hope of winning the seat at Red Bull. That hasn't been the case so far, even if, as I said, it was close. We'll see how this develops."

F1's presenter Lawrence Barretto previously suggested that Red Bull hasn't completely written off Daniel Ricciardo even after a very underwhelming beginning to the season.
The 80-year-old boss's response seems to correspond with these suggestions. However, the Australian driver needs to show what he's got now.
The upcoming few races might be career-deciding for the Honey Badger. If he shows significant improvement, he might be considered for the second seat alongside Max Verstappen.
Conversely, if he fails to show improvement whatsoever, Ricciardo might be under threat of being replaced. Asked whether in-season driver swap is something that he would consider, Marko replied:

"Of course, with Liam Lawson as reserve driver, we have a strong driver in the team who is contractually entitled to drive for another team if he does not get a cockpit with us in 2025."

"In this regard, it would of course be exciting for us if we could see him in Formula 1 this year to get an even clearer picture. But this is a complex topic and we have to see what happens next."

It seems the Austrian team boss isn't completely opposed to the option of replacing Ricciardo mid-season. Do you think it will come to that? Or will Ricciardo retain his seat?