Daniel Ricciardo's F1 team responds after game-changing switch confirmed for China GP

The Aussie has been under fire for his performances in 2024 and his team hopes the change will give him a "mental confidence boost".

Daniel Ricciardo's Visa Cash App RB team has confirmed it has made the decision to change the chassis in the Aussie's vehicle for the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix. Ricciardo made a public call for the team to make the change last week, with Visa Cash App RB confirming the new chassis would be in for this weekend's race in Shanghai. The team says the decision was made by team engineers and technicians back at RB headquarters in Milton Keynes and was not due to Ricciardo's public call.

However, a report emerged on Tuesday that the team hoped the decision would give Ricciardo a “mental confidence boost” as the Aussie continues to struggle to find form as his F1 future is called into question. RB sporting director Alan Permane said the new chassis would not have an impact on the performance of Ricciardo’s car and insisted the decision had nothing to do with his recent issues.

Pictured: Dan Ricciardo
Visa Cash App RB hopes the chassis change will give Daniel Ricciardo a "mental confidence boost". Image: Getty

"It’s not a performance differentiator," he said. “It’s a happy accident that we have one coming, and it doesn’t make sense to give it to Yuki (Tsunoda) – it makes sense to give it to Daniel, but we’re not bringing a new chassis because of his issues. Let me be clear about that, it’s just that it all fits together.” Permane also confirmed before the opening day of practice in Shanghai that the team are also bringing forward plans to upgrade both Visa Cash App vehicles.

Dan Ricciardo's Red Bull future under threat

Ricciardo began the new season with high hopes of cracking back into Red Bull's top team, reclaiming the seat he once occupied. There were positive signs in pre-season testing but he has struggled to replicate last year's performances in 2024.

After failing to secure any points through the first three races, Ricciardo knew he needed a solid result last week in Japan to quieten the doubts about him. Instead, his race lasted barely 20 seconds before he collided with Williams driver Alex Albon and slammed into the barriers, knocking both men out of the race.

RB's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (L) gets out of his car after crashing out with Williams' Thai driver Alexander Albon (R-in car) during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix race at the Suzuka circuit in Suzuka, Mie prefecture on April 7, 2024. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
After failing to secure any points through the first three races, Ricciardo knew he needed a solid result last week in Japan but crashed out before the 30 second mark of the race.

Ricciardo now heads to China desperate to prove he still is the man for the job, with suggestions youngster Liam Lawson is in line to replace him. The New Zealand Herald reported earlier this month that Ricciardo's position is in serious jeopardy, with the team holding Lawson in high regard. The news outlet claimed the Aussie had been given two races to improve or face being replaced by Lawson.

"Should Ricciardo fail to improve over the next two Grand Prix in Japan and China respectively, Red Bull will perform a swap that sees Lawson likely installed in the Racing Bulls seat for Miami and remain with the team for the rest of the season," the New Zealand Herald report states.


Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has gone on record calling both he and teammate Yuki Tsunoda "too slow" in the opening rounds of the season. It is a vastly different tune to what Marko was singing before the season when he said Ricciardo was firming to replace Perez in the main team.

Marko also said the Aussie was contracted to the team 'long-term' when he was linked to the soon-to-be vacant Mercedes seat and said he wouldn't be going anywhere. The Chinese Grand Prix gets underway with practice sessions on April 19 ahead of the race on April 21 at the Shanghai International Circuit.