Red Bull Boss Challenges Daniel Ricciardo To Up His Game Following Saudi Spin

Two races in and the heat is already on...

Red Bull Boss Challenges Daniel Ricciardo To Up His Game Following Saudi Spin

Image: Getty / Red Bull Content Pool

Helmut Marko has taken time out of his enduring civil war with Red Bull boss Christian Horner to check on the results of Red Bull’s sister team Visa Cash App Red Bull, and is throwing down the gauntlet for Daniel Ricciardo after just two races.

It’s not been the best of starts for Visa Cash App Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo in 2024. The Australian driver would’ve entered the driver’s seat of his newly branded Formula 1 team with renewed optimism following a significant rest after the end of the 2023 season… but has so far fallen short of expectation.

For all the speculation that persisted throughout the Formula 1 break surrounding the future of nearly every driver within the Red Bull setup, it’s surprising to see that neither VCARB has finished within the points in the opening two Grand Prix weekends.

With VCARB sitting at the bottom of the Constructors’, it’s already starting to worry the Red Bull hierarchy.

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Image: Getty / Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo has managed finishes of P13 and P16 in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, respectively. The Australian driver appeared to be evenly matched to his VCARB teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the First Round but an unprovoked spin-out in Saudi has led to more question marks surrounding the eight-time Grand Prix winner’s full-time seat in the future.

In the penultimate lap of the Grand Prix, Ricciardo was left embarrassed after spinning out of the chicane and skidding across the asphalt without any contact. Rather crucially, the best angle of Ricciardo’s spin was captured by the car behind him, driven by Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez; the driver whom Ricciardo is looking to dislodge at the end of the season.

Not one to stand on ceremony, Red Bull’s Helmut Marko has been making some noise in the German media regarding the position of RB’s sister team… and has already set a challenge for its stuttering drivers.

“There’s a lot at stake this season for both Yuki [Tsunoda] and Daniel [Ricciardo],” he said. “Yuki’s qualifying performance was very good and Ricciardo has to come up with something soon… At least Tsunoda is very good in qualifying, then they are at the top of the Championship points in the first stint, only to fall further and further behind afterwards.”

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VCARB’s drivers are joint last in the Formula 1 Constructors’ alongside Williams, Sauber and Alpine, whilst Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez are sitting in first and second respectively securing back-to-back 1-2 finishes.

Helmut Marko’s comments may have been translated from the original article in German, but the Austrian boss is never one to mince his words. Ricciardo’s future seat in the Red Bull is within his reach, but the Australian driver will be aware that he needs to up his game heading into Melbourne this weekend.