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F1 news 2024 | Daniel Ricciardo given two races to save his career at RB speculation, Aussie res

Aussie F1 star Daniel Ricciardo has given short shrift to talk that he will be axed and replaced behind the wheel of his RB if he does not step up his performance over the next two races.

Ricciardo has had a sluggish start to the season, slipping behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda in both qualifying and on race day so far in 2024.

Hot headed Japanese driver Tsunoda has outperformed Ricciardo in qualifying in all three grand prix weekends, with the Aussie finishing ahead of him once on race day.

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Those performances were a far cry from Ricciardo’s slick F1 re-entry last year, which was forced by a staggering test at Silverstone in July, with the Aussie putting down lap times that would have put him towards the front of the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo sits behind the wheel in his RB. (Getty)

Off-season chatter indicated that Red Bull chiefs were open to putting Ricciardo back into a car alongside Max Verstappen in 2025 if he could prove a consistent force in his RB in 2024, but the driver market turns quickly in F1 and the Aussie’s inability to score points has signed his death warrant, according to some.

Quizzed on a New Zealand Herald report that he was facing a do-or-die scenario in the next two races and would be replaced by Kiwi Liam Lawson if he failed, Ricciardo said it was nothing more than grist for the mill.

« 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 Motorsport.com.

« 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. »

While Ricciardo is, publicly at least, ignoring the rumour mill, 1997 F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve continued his recent commentary on the Aussie, arguing that he had failed to cope with the pressure put on him by Red Bull driver guru Helmut Marko’s pre-season assessment that hinted he had a shot at promotion.

Speaking via Online Betting Guide about the disparity arising between qualifying and race pace for some teams, Villeneuve said Ricciardo had been found wanting.

« Before the start Ricciardo was doing a big media push about how his mojo was back. Marko was saying there might be a Red Bull seat available, » Villeneuve said.

« That has created an issue inside where the drivers are not driving as smoothly and calmly as they were last year. That affects the way races unfold.

« There are a lot of internal battles going on which all started with Lewis (Hamilton’s) move. On the chess board that was the key. That broke the log jam. People are a bit more hype and on the edge which is probably affecting a lot of the driving as well because they can see a possible prize. »

Daniel Ricciardo in the VCARB 01 at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. (Peter Fox via Getty Images)

Ricciardo said he had been surprised by the lack of pace in the RB so far in 2024, with Marko critical of the qualifying pace of both Ricciardo and his teammate Tsunoda.

The Aussie said he didn’t understand why he and the team had gone backwards from where they were after he was given the drive last season.

« I think the important thing is that I stay on course, » he added.

« 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. »

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