Formula 1: Daniel Ricciardo's own comments could seal his fate

After the Chinese Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo stated that he would give himself five races to turn his 2024 Formula 1 season around after a rough start.
Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Formula 1 / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

A chassis switch for Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit gave him his best race weekend of the 2024 Formula 1 season thus far. Despite not finishing the race due to a collision with Lance Stroll, the Australian driver outperformed teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the sprint race and qualifying.

After the 34-year-old came in to replace Nyck de Vries last season, he had a string of good showings to close out 2023. Ricciardo’s name has been in the running to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull in 2025, but a slow start to the season has led to rumors that Liam Lawson could step in for Ricciardo like he did during Ricciardo's injury last year -- but this time, permanently.

Ricciardo, however, is optimistic moving forward, and he stated the following, according to GP Fans.

"From the get-go it just felt like we're in a better place and everything came a bit more seamlessly. We did change chassis. I don't want to jump on that and be like: 'It's definitely that'. But something didn't make me feel right with the previous chassis I was racing. I would love to kind of be here in five races' time and say that, because then it means the season has definitely turned around and I get that monkey off our back. We'll see in Miami, and Imola and maybe the next few [races] if it continues."

Daniel Ricciardo

What does this mean for Red Bull?

Rumors about the possibility of Ricciardo being replaced had begun long before he commented. However, the decision would be difficult for Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, given how highly the he is rated within the organization.

With the standard that Ricciardo has set for himself over the next five races, however, it may add more pressure, and Red Bull’s decision could become somewhat easier. In the event the Australian does not meet his own expectations over the next few events, a decision to replace him would also make more sense to Ricciardo himself.

Additionally, RB have a talented reserve driver in Lawson who is patiently waiting for his opportunity for a permanent seat. The 22-year-old Kiwi showed what he is capable of while replacing Ricciardo after Ricciardo broke his hand during Dutch Grand Prix weekend last year.

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Given that RB have improved the overall performance of their car from 2023, Red Bull could look to make the change to have a stronger hold on P6 in the constructor championship over Haas. The fate of Ricciardo’s future in Formula 1 could rely heavily on the next five races, and it will be interesting to see whether or not he can deliver on his words.