Daniel Ricciardo ‘at most risk’ to be dropped as pressure ramps up ahead of China

Daniel Ricciardo continues to fight for his F1 future at RB.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), RB F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Preparation
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), RB F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4,…

Daniel Ricciardo is the likeliest driver on the 2024 F1 grid to lose his seat at RB mid-season should his performances not improve.

Ricciardo has failed to out-qualify teammate Yuki Tsunoda in any of the opening four rounds, only beating him on race day in Bahrain due to team orders.

The Australian will receive a new chassis for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, although RB’s decision to change it isn’t linked to his struggles.

The pressure on Ricciardo to perform is only increasing with Liam Lawson waiting in the wings.

Writing in his pre-Chinese GP Q&A, veteran F1 journalist Andrew Benson explained why Ricciardo is the number one candidate to potentially lose his seat in the middle of this year.

“This can happen any season in F1 and the people most at risk at the moment are Daniel Ricciardo at RB and Logan Sargeant at Williams,” Benson wrote.

“Ricciardo has had a difficult start to the season and Red Bull are notoriously unforgiving with their drivers. Since returning to F1 midway through last year, the Australian has gone from being talked about as a potential replacement for Sergio Perez at the senior team, to apparently being at risk of being dropped in favour of reserve driver Liam Lawson at the junior outfit.

“If Ricciardo's performances don't improve soon, the pressure on him - already high - will become intense. No one would be surprised if Lawson was in the car sooner or later in that scenario.”

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing with James Vowles (GBR) Williams Racing Team Principal on the grid. Formula 1 World
Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing with James Vowles (GBR) Williams…

Another driver struggling on the grid is Logan Sargeant.

Sargeant continues to disappoint - and still hasn’t beaten Alex Albon in a competitive session.

However, Benson doubts Sargeant’s seat is under threat, at least until next year.

“Williams have had a difficult start to the season on a number of levels and Sargeant's performances in comparison to team-mate Alex Albon are far from their main concern. But they are a concern,” he added.

“Having said that, there doesn't seem to be any desire to change things around mid-season, so Sargeant will probably survive until the end of the year, when he will likely be dropped if he has not upped his game.”

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