Daniel Ricciardo hits back at brutal F1 axing reports after comments from Red Bull figure

The 34-year-old's F1 career appears to be hanging in the balance.

Daniel Ricciardo says he hasn't been given any indication he's set to be axed from the the Red Bull-owned RB team for next season. The Aussie driver has endured an underwhelming Formula One season in 2024 and senior Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko indicated this week that 22-year-old Kiwi driver Liam Lawson needs to be promoted to a drivers seat soon, casting doubts over Ricciardo's future.

“The shareholders have made it known that [RB] is a junior team and we have to act accordingly,” Marko told Austrian publication Kleine Zuitung. “The goal was that [Ricciardo] would be considered for Red Bull Racing with exceptional performances... That seat now belongs to Sergio Pérez, so that plan is no longer valid. We have to put a young driver in there soon. That would be Liam Lawson.”

Daniel Ricciardo says he hasn't been given an indication that he's going to be replaced by Liam Lawson at RB for the 2025 F1 season. Pic: Getty
Daniel Ricciardo says he hasn't been given an indication that he's going to be replaced by Liam Lawson at RB for the 2025 F1 season. Pic: Getty

Ricciardo is out of contract at the end of the year and has been consistently beaten by RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda, with the Japanese driver finishing ahead of Ricciardo in five of eight races this season. And the timeline for Lawson to enter the RB team may have been accelerated after he was linked with rival teams.


RB have already confirmed that Tsunoda will remain with the team next year, leaving Lawson primed to try and swoop in on Ricciardo's seat for 2025. Ricciardo did manage to get the better of Tsunoda in Spain but it might not be enough to save his F1 career with Red Bull's sister team. Ricciardo has only finished in the points twice since in 17 appearances with RB, but the Aussie says he's heard nothing from Red Bull chiefs about his potential axing.

The veteran driver told reporters at the Austrian Grand Prix on Thursday that he only found out about Marko's comments when he arrived at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring. "I don't feel one way or another about it. I still know the overriding thing in this sport is performance," Ricciardo said.

The 34-year-old denied he'd been given an ultimatum by Red Bull chiefs to find improvement or face the axe but understands that it is a results-driven industry. "That's what will give me my best chance of staying here. I know that. It's not going to be my smile or anything else, it's the on-track stuff. There hasn't been any pressure, ultimatum, nothing like that," he added.

Seen here, RB Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) could be set to lose his seat at RB to Liam Lawson at the end of the season, according to reports. (Getty Images)

"But also I've been in the sport a long time. I know that if I'm getting my ass kicked every weekend, at some point someone will be like, 'hey mate, step it up, otherwise...'. But I haven't had that." With Tsunoda confirmed as one of the two main drivers for RB in 2025, it leaves Ricciardo with three races before the August interval to stamp his mark and provide a reminder about his ability.

Ricciardo has eight Grand Prix race victories to his name, with seven of those coming during his time at Red Bull from 2014-18. But the Aussie has consistently been overshadowed and out-scored by Tsunoda over the 10 races so far this season. Last year was a comeback season for Ricciardo at RB after he left McLaren at the end of 2022 following two difficult seasons. A 2021 win at Monza was a rare highlight in a series of below-par results.

with AAP