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Daniel Ricciardo receives vote of confidence from RB

Daniel Ricciardo remains well-supported by the RB squad.

After a sub-optimal start to the 2024 season, Daniel Ricciardo still has the support of RB – as outlined by Laurent Mekies. The 8-time race winner is working to rediscover his best form, which has generally eluded him in this year’s campaign. However, the Chinese GP was an encouraging event for Ricciardo, who will work to create some momentum in the upcoming events.

Yuki Tsunoda has been the top performer at RB in 2024 so far. The 23-year-old has built on his impressive campaign last year to become a reliable contributor for the Faenza-based team. Only at the Shanghai circuit has Tsunoda’s form dipped, having shown consistent qualifying and race pace in the four rounds prior.

His seven points in the Championship reflect what can be described as a very solid start. On the other side of the garage, teammate Daniel Ricciardo is having a slightly tougher time.

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RB encouraged by Ricciardo’s China performance

Only last season, the Australian was adapting well to life at Faenza. Despite joining the team mid-season, Ricciardo was demonstrating flashes of speed that excited much of the F1 paddock. Heading into this year, many expected 2024 to be a continuation of his promising trajectory.

However, the Australian has complained about the AT04 for much of the season. One hypothesis for his lack of comfort in the car has been the chassis – which RB changed in Shanghai. Although the sample size is very limited, this tweak seems to have been beneficial.

This will be encouraging for team principal Laurent Mekies, who was pleased with Ricciardo’s efforts in Shanghai:

“Just before the safety car, Daniel was effectively attacking Lewis [Hamilton],” he told

“So, you know, we were on a strong pace, and we had the right tyres. We feel it could have been a fair battle with Nico…

“But it is what it is. It’s racing. It didn’t go our way. But what is reassuring is A, [that] we had the pace here again to fight for that point, even though we started a bit on the back foot on Friday. But certainly, the race pace was there.

“And B, it is nice to see Daniel performing at this level. He has been making good steps forward in the background.”

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Much at stake for the RB duo

Generally speaking, the AT04’s performance has been disappointing. Many expected RB to contend further up the field this year – in light of their increased collaboration with Red Bull.

Even at the end of last season, the effects of Faenza’s strengthened ties with Milton Keynes were reflected on track. Whilst they are in a respectable P6 in the standings, they are only contesting for the lower end of the points.

Still, they are at least competitive enough to evaluate how well Tsunoda and Ricciardo are performing. Moving forward, this duo will be trying to convince Red Bull they are deserving of a promotion. Of course, there is no guarantee of this – especially with Sergio Perez driving at a strong level.

Moreover, there is always the possibility that RB will call upon Liam Lawson. To some extent, driving for Red Bull’s second team always comes with an element of uncertainty.

Still, the environment at RB seems – in relative terms – more forgiving than in previous seasons. This should provide Daniel Ricciardo with the conditions to address his early slump.


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