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Daniel Ricciardo 'has two races to save his job' with Aussie set to be axed from F1

Daniel Ricciardo reportedly has two races left to save his F1 career after Helmut Marko hit the experienced Aussie with an ultimatum at his home race. The 34-year-old has failed to score any points in three attempts so far this season and could be replaced by Liam Lawson if he fails to improve.

After an immense performance in Mexico towards the end of the 2023 campaign, it was expected that Ricciardo would hit the ground running in his full-time return to F1. However, after three rounds he has a best finish of P12, while team-mate Yuki Tsunoda collected a six-point haul with a P7 finish in Melbourne on Sunday.

With Sergio Perez finding performance with two second-place finishes already this season, Ricciardo is already losing ground in the race to put himself at the forefront of the conversation to drive alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull in 2025.

According to a report from The Herald, Marko has already given Ricciardo his ultimatum, stating that the VCARB driver must improve his performance during the next two races in Japan and China or wave goodbye to his drive with the Faenza-based team.

In his place would be Lawson, who impressed the team greatly with his performances during a five-race substitute cameo in 2023. The New Zealander replaced Ricciardo after he broke a bone in his hand at the Dutch Grand Prix, scoring two points and even outqualifying Verstappen in Singapore.

The report also states that Lawson is extremely highly rated internally at Red Bull and is seen as the most compelling option to replace Perez in the long term, holding more stock than the current VCARB pairing of Ricciardo and Tsunoda.

News of Ricciardo’s potential ultimatum does not come as a surprise given Marko’s public criticism already this season. After the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he stated: “Ricciardo will have to come up with something soon.”

Then, in Australia, Marko doubled down on his public critiques, telling Sky Germany: “There’s a lot at stake for [Tsunoda and Ricciardo]. Both might be hoping for a seat at Red Bull, and one should be well ahead of the other. So far Ricciardo is a bit behind. But let’s put it this way: Tsunoda’s qualifying speed is okay. But in the race, both are too slow.”

Now reportedly left with just two races to prove his worth, Ricciardo faces the prospect of watching his F1 career go up in flames at the Chinese Grand Prix – the site of one of his most iconic performances back in 2018.


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