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Ricciardo’s Red Bull Rope: Protected by Horner Yet Facing the Axe Amid Lawson Speculation



Daniel Ricciardo "shielded by Christian Horner" – yet "facing the possibility of seat loss"

A recent overview regarding Daniel Ricciardo's prospects in F1 and his chances of staying with RB.

Daniel Ricciardo's future in Formula 1 remains unclear, despite assurances from Red Bull's Christian Horner that he has Ricciardo's back.

Experienced BBC F1 correspondent Andrew Benson has indicated that Ricciardo's position for the 2025 season remains in jeopardy, with Liam Lawson potentially taking over his spot.

Nonetheless, Ricciardo's advantage lies in having the support of the Red Bull chief.

While Ricciardo has demonstrated moments of exceptional performance, like securing a fifth-place starting position at the Canadian Grand Prix, he has largely found it challenging to match the pace of his Red Bull teammate, Yuki Tsunoda.

Tsunoda is ahead in the qualifying matchups, with a 7-2 lead, and has a 14-point advantage in the drivers' standings.

Canada proved to be a positive turning point for Ricciardo, who bounced back from harsh critiques by 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve by securing a points finish.

As of 2025, it remains uncertain if Ricciardo will continue or if Lawson will be promoted to a full-time driving position, which many believe he has earned.

Benson reported that Ricunoda trails Tsunoda with a score of 7-2 in this year's Formula 1 qualifying rounds, generally lagging in speed. He pointed out the issue with this is Red Bull's perception of Tsunoda not being among the elite drivers.

This explains the shift in Daniel Ricciardo's situation from being viewed as a possible successor to Sergio Perez at the primary Red Bull squad to facing the possibility of his position being in jeopardy.

Backup racer Liam Lawson is on standby.

"Currently, Daniel Ricciardo enjoys the support of team leader Christian Horner. It's still uncertain how Red Bull will decide on a teammate for Tsunoda at the team, now referred to as RB, in 2025."

Since making his comeback to Formula 1 mid-last year, Ricciardo's performance has largely been erratic.

Disregarding his injury, his leading roles have been inconsistent, with his remarkable effort in Mexico City being the only highlight of the past year.

In 2024, the spotlight will be on the Miami sprint and the Canadian weekend events.

"Benson noted that Ricciardo's showing at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he impressively qualified fifth and secured an eighth-place finish in the points even after receiving a five-second penalty for a false start, was precisely the boost he required following a lackluster beginning to the season."

Daniel Ricciardo faced some tough remarks from Jacques Villeneuve, a commentator for Sky TV during the weekend. Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula One World Champion, questioned Ricciardo's presence in F1 with a critical "Why is he still in F1?" Ricciardo, understandably, did not appreciate the comment. Regardless of one's opinion on Villeneuve's harsh words, it's undeniable that Ricciardo's performance hasn't lived up to Red Bull's expectations since his comeback to Formula One.

He stepped in for Nyck de Vries at the team, known at the time as Alpha Tauri, partway through the previous season. His unfortunate luck came to a head when he injured his hand in an accident at the Dutch Grand Prix, which was just his third race back, causing him to sit out five races. However, in the races he did participate in last year, he generally lagged behind his teammate Yuki Tsunoda in speed, with the notable exception being a remarkable showing in Mexico.

"This year has seen the pattern persist, with rare deviations like the sprint qualifying rounds in China and now in Canada."

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