Embattled Daniel Ricciardo Gets Helmut Marko Boost

Embattled Daniel Ricciardo Gets Helmut Marko Boost
Embattled Daniel Ricciardo Gets Helmut Marko Boost

Dr Helmut Marko has warned F1 hopeful Liam Lawson not to hold out too much hope of an immediate leap into Formula 1.

Recently, rumours have swirled that the Red Bull camp is so disillusioned with Daniel Ricciardo’s struggle to get back up to speed in F1 that he may be replaced at the junior squad RB immediately.

“The rumours that Ricciardo will be replaced by Liam Lawson at Imola are nonsense,” Marko, Red Bull’s influential Austrian F1 consultant, told Speed Week.

He thinks the rumours in Miami were all revved up by Lawson’s manager.

“Liam’s manager from New Zealand was there, apparently he has certain dreams and they are made known through some media – including those from New Zealand,” Marko, 81, added.

“Nothing at all is planned in Imola. But of course we will look at this in the future.”

34-year-old Ricciardo, having successfully lobbied for a fresh RB monocoque as of the Chinese GP, appeared to return to top form in Miami by qualifying and finishing fourth in the sprint events.

Marko says it was a “remarkable performance” and “a sensation”.

“Ricciardo never got up to speed in the race, though,” he explained. “Yuki (Tsunoda) set consistently fast times, while Ricciardo lacked the speed and confidence that was evident in the sprint.”

As for Japanese Tsunoda, his place in the Red Bull camp appears safe.

“If Yuki continues to drive like he did in the rest of the races, then it will certainly be a good letter of recommendation that he is giving,” Marko said.

At the top team Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez is believed to have secured a new deal to stay next year – even though he almost blew it by coming close to taking out his teammate Max Verstappen at the start in Miami.

“I thought to myself ‘For God’s sake!'” Marko revealed.

“It reminded me of Mexico, where Checo made a similar manoeuvre in the first corner. Thank God that turned out well as of course it would have been Waterloo if he had taken Max out.

“Overall, his race was good. The deficit was tolerable,” Marko said.

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