Daniel Ricciardo on Alert as Replacement Rumors Intensify

Liam Lawson addressed the speculations surrounding the possibility of him stepping in for Daniel Ricciardo amid the latter’s struggles.

Having filled in admirably for the injured Ricciardo at AlphaTauri last season, Lawson couldn’t secure the permanent race seat. However, Ricciardo’s lackluster performance at the start of the 2024 season with the rebranded RB team has brought Lawson’s potential into focus.

Regarding these rumors, Lawson stated on the F1 Nation podcast, “It’s unfortunately just rumors at the moment. To tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea.”

Tom Kristensen, the victor of Le Mans, remarked, “Daniel, coming [to Japan] after Melbourne, it’s a tough start to the season.

“He sat out first practice then second practice was rained off. He had probably been thinking it would be another struggle.

“He did pretty well, he was close to Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying. It was the cut-off to being in the top 10 or starting 11th.”

Ricciardo’s race concluded abruptly on the first lap due to a collision with Alex Albon.

“Danny couldn’t do anything. Ricciardo had nowhere to go,” analyzed Kristensen.

He acknowledged that merely trailing behind teammate Tsunoda in qualifying isn’t sufficient to justify retaining his RB drive.

“Probably not, in the means of the people within the Red Bull group,” Kristensen stated. “They gave him this chance. They expect more from him. We all expect more.

“We’re used to seeing late braking, overtaking, strong performances. We can’t wait to see them but they haven’t been here yet. I don’t even want to mention that we saw him struggle at McLaren…”

Ricciardo’s highest finish this year has been a disappointing 12th place, achieved at his home race in Australia. A year that commenced with him as the frontrunner to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull in 2025 has raised doubts about his suitability even to remain with RB.

In contrast, teammate Tsunoda has performed better, securing points at the recent Japanese Grand Prix, held in his home country.

“He’s never been slow,” Lawson stated. “He’s always been very, very fast. It’s a consistency thing. He’s on form this year. He is very consistent and not making many mistakes.”

Alex Jacques from F1TV acknowledged Tsunoda for achieving points in consecutive Grand Prix races.

“The big five teams are a long way clear. You need something to go wrong, he stated. “If you don’t convert your opportunities this year it will be painful by the time you get to Abu Dhabi.”