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Marko: Reason for Ricciardo struggles something mental

Marko: Reason for Ricciardo struggles something mental

Marko: Reason for Ricciardo struggles something mental

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, claimed Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles are down to something mental, as the Australian was once again beaten by teammate Yuki Tsunoda in the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Ever since Ricciardo replaced Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri/RB in the middle of the 2024 Formula 1 season, he has struggled to deliver and even missed five races after breaking his hand during practice for the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix.

With Tsunoda hardly a reference, Ricciardo was expected to beat him, but that was not the case, and so far in 2024, the Japanese driver has had the upper hand.

Again over the Australian GP weekend, Ricciardo delivered a disappointing performance in front of his home crowd, qualifying a lowly 18th (Tsunoda qualified eighth), and racing to 12th (Tsunoda finished seventh).

And while it seems that Red Bull boss Christian Horner has been the catalyst behind the return of Ricciardo into F1, Liam Lawson inexplicably disregarded, Marko has recently warned the Australian driver that he needs to deliver.

After another underwhelming performance down under, Marko admitted the team didn’t expect Tsunoda to be beating Ricciardo consistently, adding: “We got Daniel back because we thought he could find his old form, so that he could be a candidate for Red Bull Racing.

“But at the moment he’s struggling and we hope he can find his form back, but for that he has to beat Yuki [Tsunoda] and that’s obviously not easy.

“It’s something mental because he has proven in the past that he is a fast driver. That happens sometimes,” the Austrian responded when asked what Ricciardo’s problem was.

“It’s open,” he added when asked of the car was the problem. “Each driver sees the data from the other so there is no secret. They have the same car. Everything is the same. Normally it’s mentally with the drivers.”

As for Tsunoda, Marko claimed his current form in satisfying but insisted it is too soon to judge whether he can be ready for a Red Bull seat.

“Every lap he was competitive and didn’t do nothing wrong, was calm,” he said of Tsunoda’s performance down under last Sunday.

“But as we say, one swallow does not make a summer. So he has to improve more before he can be considered in this direction,” the 80-year-old concluded.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier in Melbourne)