Ricciardo defiant after Marko backs Lawson promotion

Daniel Ricciardo is confident he can secure his future at RB with performances on track despite comments from Helmut Marko suggesting that Liam Lawson needs promoting soon.

“The shareholders have made it known that [RB] is a junior team and we have to act accordingly,” Marko was quoted as telling Kleine Zeitung. “The goal was that [Ricciardo] would be considered for Red Bull Racing with exceptional performances. That seat now belongs to Sergio Perez, so that plan is no longer valid.

“We have to put a young driver in there soon. That would be Liam Lawson.”

Arriving in Austria on Thursday, Ricciardo says he’d only just been made aware of the comments, but he doesn’t believe he is in danger of being replaced if he can continue to perform well after back-to-back weekends finishing ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda.


“I’ve become really good at not reading things,” Ricciardo said. “I actually didn’t know about it until I was told when I got here. Look, I don’t feel one way or another about it. I still know that the overriding thing in this sport is performance, and that’s it. That’s what will give me my best chance of staying here, I know that. It’s not going to be my smile or anything else. It’s the on-track stuff.

“I’ve obviously got a good opportunity – I say until the summer break; I don’t think that’s a deadline, but that’s obviously where you look at for the first half of the season – trying to do what I can and obviously help my cause.

“I look back at Barcelona, and it’s hard to get excited about a 15th, but actually I was really happy with my race. So I would say it’s at least now two better weekends in a row. That’s what I’ve had trouble doing this year, is having a string of good results.

“Two is not enough of course, at least for where I want to be. Now we have two more ahead. I definitely have a chance to get into the summer break with some momentum. And on the Helmut stuff, honestly, it’s fine. It doesn’t change what I’m going to do.”

Ricciardo says he has not been exploring other options on the grid because he is focused on staying at RB, and he believes Marko’s comments can often be intended to provoke a reaction.

“I would say no [other options] … Not to be stubborn or arrogant about it, but I’m not looking anywhere else,” he said. “I’ve said it, I really do enjoy being back in the family. I weirdly do enjoy sometimes a little bit of pokes from Helmut, because I think it can also be a way to get me a little bit fired up and try and get the best out of me.”

Story originally appeared on Racer