Christian Horner: Ricciardo Aware He Hadn't Met Senior Team Seat Criteria

Christian Horner emphasized that Daniel Ricciardo will need to put in considerable effort to keep his position on the team

by Sead Dedovic
Christian Horner: Ricciardo Aware He Hadn't Met Senior Team Seat Criteria
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Daniel Ricciardo's fate remains uncertain, as the Australian driver has struggled to find his form this season with Red Bull's sister team, RB. At 34 years old, Ricciardo faces a critical point in his career and must carefully consider his future steps and what improvements are necessary to compete at the highest level of Formula 1.

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull Racing, recently spoke to the media about Ricciardo, stressing the high expectations placed on the veteran driver. Following the extension of Sergio Perez's contract, optimism has weakened regarding the possibility of someone else taking his place in the team. While names like Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo have been mentioned as potential candidates, it appears increasingly unlikely that a change will occur.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Horner discussed Ricciardo's prospects, stressing the importance of improved performance. He made it clear that if Ricciardo truly aspires to secure a seat with the team for the upcoming season, huge improvemnets in his driving and results are imperative. Horner's message is a reminder that in the competitive world of Formula 1, only those who consistently deliver superior performances can hope to remain at the top.

“I think Daniel has had an up and down start to the year,” Horner told Sky Sports in Canada, as quoted by Crash.

“He knows he has to deliver. He knew he hadn’t done enough to warrant a seat in the senior team for next year."- he continued.

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo© Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images Sport

Ricciardo was previously a key member of the main Red Bull Racing team. However, there were moments when his performances fell short of expectations, leading the Australian driver to contemplate other opportunities for his future in Formula 1. Being part of the Austrian team is no small feat. Red Bull Racing is known for its high ambitions and competitive spirit, consistently aiming for the top spot in the championship.

To succeed with Red Bull, a driver must consistently deliver remarkable performances and demonstrate world-class skill. The team demands nothing less than greatness, and only those who can meet these rigorous standards can thrive. Ricciardo’s past experiences with the team highlight the intense pressure and the level of commitment required to be a part of such a prestigious and ambitious organization. 

However, the question arises whether Ricciardo will retain his place in the team amid young drivers waiting for their chance. Foremost among them are Isack Hadjar and Liam Lawson, two great drivers who, during their junior years, have given hope that Red Bull can lead the charge with them. These talented drivers are patiently waiting for their opportunity.

Ricciardo, while aiming for the main team, could potentially lose his place in the second team next season. Horner is well aware of Ricciardo's qualities, but qualities are irrelevant if they are not evident on the F1 tracks. For the leaders to have confidence in you, it is crucial to deliver top performances. Ricciardo knows what he needs to do at this moment.

Regarding the decision on the second seat next season, Horner said:

“There’s still plenty of time,” Horner said.

“We’ve got Daniel, whose obviously got a great deal of experience and I think what you can’t ignore that his experience has definitely benefitted Yuki, because there’s some real engineering direction in there and I think there’s really helped that time.

We’ve got some great young talent coming through in Formula 2, we’ve got Isack Hadjar knocking on the door.“- he continued.

Christian Horner on Daniel Ricciardo

Christian Horner emphasized that Daniel Ricciardo will need to put in considerable effort to keep his position on the team, indicating that it won't be easy or guaranteed. He also highlighted Liam Lawson as a strong contender, stressing his enthusiasm and consistent involvement with the team. Horner acknowledged Lawson's capabilities, suggesting that the current drivers are under constant scrutiny and must continuously perform well to maintain their spots.

Ricciardo, we have no doubt, carefully listened to the statements of the Red Bull team principal, aware of turning things in his favor. The Australian will have a chance this season to improve matters and try to regain the trust of the leaders. Tsunoda has been truly impressive this season, and with such a teammate, Ricciardo will have a difficult task to impress the leaders. It's all up to him now.

The most important thing for the leaders of this team is having Max Verstappen, who dominates in F1 and could potentially win the championship again. The Dutchman has been excellent this season, although not as dominant as he was last season. However, that doesn't mean he won't win another championship.

Christian Horner Daniel Ricciardo