Daniel Ricciardo seems to be moving on the right track at the moment after he made an unexpected return with AlphaTauri. After returning to the grid, the Australian has already made his intentions clear and that is to do the best he can with the Italian outfit for the rest of this season to be in contention for the Red Bull seat sometime in the future. Since Sergio Perez currently has a contract with the team until the end of the 2024 season, Ricciardo could have a chance in 2025.
However, it will be far from easy for the Honey Badger as he has some serious competition ahead to prove to Red Bull that he is best suited for the job. This is because it seems that Red Bull protégé Liam Lawson has already issued a warning to Ricciardo in his latest interview with Speedcafé.
Since several drivers have the same goal and that is to secure the second Red Bull seat, the team’s advisor, Helmut Marko, has opened up about his expectations. In an interview with Motorsport-Magazin (as quoted by foxsports.com.au), the 80-year-old stated that if Ricciardo wants to be in contention for the Red Bull seat in 2025, he will need to do a full year at AlphaTauri with “full commitment“.
As for Red Bull’s other options, Marko said, “We have alternatives, for example, Lawson, who is second in Japan and is very successful there and has made a big leap forward in his whole development since he’s been driving in Japan“. And soon after Marko made these remarks, it seems that Lawson too has made it clear that his goal is to race in F1 sometime in the future.
Liam Lawson says his goal is to be in F1
In his recent interview with Speedcafé, Liam Lawson highlighted how his goal is to be in F1. While that is the goal for the 21-year-old, he understands how difficult it is for drivers to make it that far as just 20 seats are available on the grid.
As a result, during his interview, he was asked if he would like to race in Super Formula for another year. In reply, the New Zealander said, “We’ll see how that goes. It depends on where I finish in the championship“.
Lawson then added that he has made the “most” of his season so far in Super Formula as he has been fighting at the front consistently. As a result, he believes that he is ready to make the step forward if he receives an opportunity in F1.
These remarks from Lawson do not bode well for Daniel Ricciardo, who will now face increased pressure to perform at AlphaTauri. The 34-year-old already has the pressure to beat his AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda, and it seems that he now also faces the threat of Lawson potentially replacing him.
Daniel Ricciardo dreams for a return to Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo first joined the Red Bull family in the 2009 season when the team recruited him as a reserve driver. He stayed with the team until the 2018 season and won seven of his eight races with them (one with McLaren).
After leaving Red Bull in 2018, the 34-year-old had short two-year stints with both Renault and McLaren. However, none of them worked out, resulting in him returning to Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri, this season.
Now, since Ricciardo has finally returned to the team, where his F1 career began, he has made it clear in an interview with The Athletic that he wants to once again race for the senior Red Bull team in the future. However, he more than any other driver understands that securing that seat is going to be far from easy with the stiff competition that he will have to beat.