F1 News: Christian Horner Comments On Daniel Ricciardo Future - 'Hasn't Done Enough'

Christian Horner isn't mincing his words.
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; RB driver Daniel Ricciardo (3) after the F1 Sprint Race at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; RB driver Daniel Ricciardo (3) after the F1 Sprint Race at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Ricciardo's racing career, particularly his 2023 return to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri - now RB - after substituting Nyck de Vries, has been a blend of high expectations and sporadic setbacks, including a broken metacarpal that saw him sidelined for several races. This season was vital for Ricciordo as it was seen as a potential stepping stone back to Red Bull Racing, a team where he previously showcased his skills behind the wheel. However, his aspirations to rejoin the senior squad have hit a significant roadblock according to Red Bull Racing's team principal, Christian Horner.

Horner's comments to Sky Sports F1 during their broadcast were candid, pointing out that while Ricciardo demonstrated moments of improvement, his overall performance this season hasn't been compelling enough to consider him for a return to the main team. This was particularly resonated with the recent extension of Sergio Perez's contract with Red Bull Racing, which further diminished Ricciardo's immediate prospects of returning.

The Australian's uneven performance this year has been a major topic of discussion compared to his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, who has secured an extended stay with RB to the end of 2025. Horner highlighted this disparity, noting Ricciardo's inconsistent start to the year:

"Daniel has had an up and down start to the year. You gave him a bit of a roasting yesterday. He knows he's got to deliver and he looks in good shape. You obviously motivated him because he looked in good form this morning," referencing Ricciardo's response to feedback during FP3. Yet, despite his apparent spurts of motivation and effort, Horner was unequivocal in his conclusion: "But he knew he hadn't done enough to warrant a seat in the senior team for next year."

The stakes are particularly high for the 8-time race winner, who has not shied away from expressing his desire to cap his career at Red Bull, his former team where he enjoyed significant success. Despite this ambition and a clear desire to prove his mettle following constructive or critical feedback, Ricciardo finds himself in a precarious position, vying for prominence and a potential seat against rising stars within the Red Bull racing hierarchy, such as Liam Lawson.

Whether Ricciardo can turn around this season's setbacks into a powerful comeback story remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the journey ahead is daunting and will require not just momentary flashes of brilliance but sustained performance to align his aspirations with reality.


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Alex Harrington

ALEX HARRINGTON

Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.