Formula 1: Former Red Bull ace feeling the pain, warning issued over 2025

Daniel Ricciardo has struggled with his RB car so far this season, and one key member of the Red Bull Formula 1 hierarchy has taken note.

Daniel Ricciardo, Saudi Arabia GP, Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo, Saudi Arabia GP, Formula 1 / Rudy Carezzevoli/GettyImages

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix proved to be another tough outing for Daniel Ricciardo, who endured a nightmare afternoon at Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Ricciardo struggled for grip during qualifying and could only manage 14th on the grid, then suffered from a lack of pace during the race. To make matters worse, a nightmare pitstop during the safety car period left him mired at the back of the pack.

The Aussie managed to work his way up towards mid-pack, but a late spin resulted in him finishing just 16th, leaving Ricciardo a tad frustrated after what he described as a “tough weekend.”

”The only thing that's probably keeping me a little bit optimistic now is we did find a few things, so that's positive.

“Because I've driven a long time I know when things don't feel quite right, but on one hand it's nice to find a few things but on another it meant that it was a pretty painful weekend so that's obviously frustrating.”

Daniel Ricciardo struggling

Ricciardo’s spot on the RB – formerly AlphaTauri – team was secured after a disastrous start to the season from Nyck de Vries last year saw him axed from the team, with Ricciardo drafted back in from his backup driver duties at Red Bull.

For Ricciardo, it was the opportunity to demonstrate his ability to get the best out of the car and impress the Red Bull bosses enough to give him the second seat at Red Bull in 2025. But any hopes of a strong start have been dampened by a 13th place finish in the season opener in Bahrain, and a 16th place finish last weekend in Jeddah, leaving him pointless after the first two races of the season.

If this form continues through the season, Ricciardo's chances of landing that Red Bull seat will disappear over the horizon faster than Max Verstappen. But given what happened to de Vries last year, even surviving the season could be question mark if he doesn't begin to show signs of improvement.

His struggles haven’t gone unnoticed by Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko, who pulled no punches in his column for Speedweek, writing that he expects much more from Ricciardo, who has been outqualified by teammate Yuki Tsunoda. Tsunoda has his eyes on the second Red Bull seat as well.

“There’s a lot at stake this season for both Yuki and Daniel,” Marko said.

“Yuki’s qualifying was very good, and Ricciardo has to come up with something soon.

“At least Tsunoda is very good in qualifying. Then they are in the points in the first stint, only to fall further behind afterwards. Whether they are putting too much strain on the tyres or there are other reasons is what you need to find out.”

If Ricciardo needed any extra support after a tricky start, he’s in luck. The next race on the schedule is the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, March 24. “Danny Ric” said he’s optimistic that he’ll be in a better position to perform in front of his home fans at Albert Park Circuit.

Two possible Red Bull drivers are not doing themselves any favors. dark. Next. Two possible Red Bull drivers are not doing themselves any favors

“Melbourne will be better,” he stated. “I know we'll fix it, and have an equal playing field and a strong showing.”