Daniel Ricciardo hits back at axing reports amid development around F1 young gun

The Aussie has shut down reports he has been given a two-race ultimatum.

Daniel Ricciardo has rubbished suggestions that he is set to be replaced by Liam Lawson in the Visa CashApp RB team, saying it is the first he has heard of it. The Aussie Formula One (F1) star has struggled so far in 2024, with his results far from what Red Bull would have hoped for.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Ricciardo's position is in serious jeopardy, with the team holding 22-year-old Kiwi Liam Lawson in high regard. The news outlet reports that the Aussie has been given two races to improve or face being replaced by Lawson.

Pictured Daniel Ricciardo left and right with Liam Lawson
Daniel Ricciardo has shut down reports that he has been given a two-race ultimatum amid speculation he could be replaced by Liam Lawson. Image: Getty

"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.

When questioned about rumours that he could be replaced, Ricciardo said he is focused on turning his season around and isn't worried about media reports. "In terms of the noise, people tell me like in the media, they’re like, ‘Oh, so and so said’ – it’s the first I've heard," Ricciardo told "It’s obviously no disrespect to (the media), but I know that I’m on this little process or journey at the moment and I just need to focus on myself.

"If I let any of the noise in, it’s going to kind of distract me from the path I’m on. I haven’t let any of that negative stuff creep in."

Lawson's management team recently came out to say the youngster has not been advised of any such move, which throws into question how much substance there is to the claim. Planet F1 also reports that despite an underwhelming start to the F1 campaign Ricciardo "is in no danger of losing his seat".

Daniel Ricciardo under pressure to turn F1 season around

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 those performances in the new F1 season.

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has been underwhelmed by the Visa CashApp team as a whole in 2024, saying prior to the Australian Grand that both he and teammate Yuki Tsunoda are "too slow".

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. He also said the Aussie was contracted to the team 'long-term' when he was linked to the soon-to-be vacant Mercedes seat.

Ricciardo said he had been surprised by the lack of pace in the RB vehicles to start the season and is focused on working out what is going wrong. "I didn’t expect to start the season like this," Ricciardo said. "Budapest last year, I drove the car a day before, and then I outqualify Yuki and had a really strong race – and with no knowledge.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Oracle Red Bull Racing take part in an RC Boat contest on the Red Bull Racing Energy Station during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo began the new season hoping to reclaim the seat he once held as pressure mounted on Sergio Perez but things haven't gone to plan. (Mark Thompson via Getty Images)

"And then having a full pre-season and all that, and all the races last year, I honestly thought that this year we would start a lot stronger. So there is that which I don’t understand – not only me, but a few people are wondering why.

"I think the important thing is that I stay on course. It’s not that my head is filled with nonsense or anything. I honestly feel good. And just, unfortunately, the results haven’t made me feel awesome. But deep down behind the wheel, I do feel good and excited and just want to keep racing. And I’m sure I’ll find a bit more in myself, and I still believe maybe we’ll find a little something on the car."