Daniel Ricciardo dealt “expect more” warning as replacement “rumour” hots up

“They gave him this chance. They expect more from him. We all expect more."

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) RB in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World…

Liam Lawson has commented on suggestions that he could replace the misfiring Daniel Ricciardo.

Lawson deputised for the injured Ricciardo at AlphaTauri to much acclaim last season but it wasn’t enough to wrestle away the full-time race seat.

But Ricciardo’s poor start to 2024 for the rebranded RB team has shone a light on Lawson, who waits in the wings.

“It’s unfortunately just rumours at the moment,” Lawson told F1 Nation podcast.

“To tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea.”

Tom Kristensen, the Le Mans winner, added: “Daniel, coming [to Japan] after Melbourne, it’s a tough start to the season.

“He sat out first practice then second practice was rained off.

“He had probably been thinking it would be another struggle.

“He did pretty well, he was close to Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying. It was the cut-off to being in the top 10 or starting 11th.”

Ricciardo’s race ended on the first lap in a crash with Alex Albon.

“Danny couldn’t do anything. Ricciardo had nowhere to go,” Kristensen analysed.

He accepted that merely being close behind teammate Tsunoda in qualifying is not enough to warrant keeping his RB drive.

“Probably not, in the means of the people within the Red Bull group,” Kristensen said.

“They gave him this chance. They expect more from him. We all expect more.

“We’re used to seeing late braking, overtaking, strong performances. We can’t wait to see them but they haven’t been here yet.

“I don’t even want to mention that we saw him struggle at McLaren…”

Ricciardo’s best finish has been a lowly 12th this year, at his home race in Australia.

A year which began with him as the red-hot favourite to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull in 2025 has morphed into questions about his suitability to even drive for RB.

Teammate Tsunoda has fared better, claiming points at his home Japanese Grand Prix last time out.

“He’s never been slow,” Lawson said.

“He’s always been very, very fast.

“It’s a consistency thing. He’s on form this year. He is very consistent and not making many mistakes.”

F1TV’s Alex Jacques credited Tsunoda for scoring points in consecutive grands prix.

“The big five teams are a long way clear,” he said. “You need something to go wrong.

“If you don’t convert your opportunities this year it will be painful by the time you get to Abu Dhabi.”

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