Alan Jones Sinks The Shoey Into Daniel Ricciardo

Alan Jones Sinks Shoey Into Daniel Ricciardo
Alan Jones Sinks Shoey Into Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo needs to “step it up” or risk being replaced at Red Bull’s junior team RB, hopeful successor Liam Lawson has hinted.

The world of Formula 1 has headed to Australia for this weekend’s Melbourne race, where local media and personalities are downbeat about the local driver’s hopes of a good result.

“I hate to say it,” 1980 world champion Alan Jones told the Herald Sun newspaper, “but I think we have seen the best days (of Ricciardo).

“He has had his bum in a few decent cars, irrespective of what people say. At the end of the day he has got to start beating his teammate for a start,” the 77-year-old Australian added.

“At the end of the day, we can’t be blaming the car all the time, which has been a bit of a tendency in the past,” said Jones, who agrees that Ricciardo needs to “lift his game”.

Waiting impatiently in the wings for his chance is Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson, who impressed last year in Ricciardo’s seat when he broke his hand.

“He should be in F1 this year,” David Dicker, boss of one of 22-year-old Lawson’s backers Rodin Cars, told Formula Scout.

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko is believed to have favoured putting Lawson in the car this year, but Christian Horner pushed hard for resurrecting Ricciardo’s flailing F1 career.

Marko, meanwhile, said early in 2024 that he is not ruling out appearances on the grid for Lawson within the current season.

Lawson said at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival at the weekend: “I think Daniel knows that the potential is there, but I’m sure he’s probably expected to step it up.”

When asked by Fox Sports if he thinks he could be doing a better job than Ricciardo already, Lawson smiled: “Absolutely.

“Obviously this year it’s the first in a while where everything is exactly the same,” he said, referring to the total lack of full-time rookies on the 2024 grid.

“It makes it very tough to get a seat when there’s multiple guys. I feel like I’m ready but there’s a lot of other guys there also,” Lawson added. “Ultimately my goal is to get back in that seat as soon as possible.

“Red Bull is pretty cut-throat,” he said.

Finally, Lawson suggested that if Red Bull doesn’t offer him a seat soon, he could start to look around elsewhere.

“I would love to drive for them,” said the New Zealander, “but ultimately I want to be in F1 regardless.”

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