Daniel Ricciardo ‘clearly having some sort of crisis’ as pressure builds

Daniel Ricciardo's miserable start to the 2024 F1 season has been analysed.

Daniel Ricciardo endured a nightmare weekend at his home race
Daniel Ricciardo endured a nightmare weekend at his home race

Daniel Ricciardo is “clearly having some sort of crisis” amid a difficult and underwhelming start to the 2024 F1 season, it has been claimed.

That is the view of respected F1 journalist Mark Hughes, who believes something is “fundamentally wrong” with Ricciardo, having made a worrying comparison to his nightmare stint at McLaren.

Ricciardo entered the season targeting Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat for 2025 but his own future is under scrutiny after a torrid start to the campaign.

The 34-year-old has been out-performed by RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda across the opening three races, prompting comments from Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko about the need for Ricciardo to raise his game.

At the Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo failed to make it out of Q1 and could only finish 12th, while Tsunoda claimed valuable points for RB in seventh (following Fernando Alonso’s penalty).

Speaking on The Race F1 Podcast, Hughes said: “Far from is he on a trajectory still to be in the Red Bull, I’d say is he on a trajectory to still be in the RB?”

When asked what Tsunoda is doing right that Ricciardo isn’t, Hughes said: “Helmut Marko has questioned his [Yuki Tsunoda’s] race speed, he’s fallen out of the points the first couple of races but that could just as easily be a car trait.

“The trouble is, how you benchmark him when the other driver is clearly having some sort of crisis.

“That’s not a Red Bull-era Daniel Ricciardo performance, that’s much more like his troubled McLaren time.

“When you’re whole tenths off, nearly half a second off there’s something fundamentally wrong, so you can’t really measure where Tsunoda’s at.

“It could be that he’s operating at a very, very high level but until we see him alongside a Verstappen or a Leclerc or someone like that, it’s very difficult to quantify it.”

Ricciardo has reportedly been given a two-race ultimatum to save his seat at RB by Marko. 

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