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BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 20: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB has a seat fitting in the garage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 20, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Ricciardo: I want to be in Formula 1 because I know I still belong

.BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 20: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB has a seat fitting in the garage during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 20, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Underfire veteran Daniel Ricciardo wants to earn his seat in Formula 1 with Red Bull-owned VCARB next season and believes P8 at the Canadian Grand Prix helped his cause.

The Faenza-based team have already confirmed Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda for 2025 but have yet to say who will take the second seat or if Riciazrdo will be retained, with their New Zealand reserve driver Liam Lawson also in the reckoning.

Ricciardo is an eight-time Grand Prix winner but has been outscored by Tsunoda over the nine races so far this season. The race in Montreal was the Australian’s first top 10 finish of the campaign whereas Tsunoda has had five so far.

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“I needed a result like that,” Ricciardo told reporters ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. He started his comeback with VCARB last season after being paid t leave McLaren at the end of 2022 to make way for Oscar Piastri to make his F1 debut.

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Ricciardo added: “Now that I’m back in that Red Bull family…I really don’t see myself anywhere else. So that’s where I’d love to stay and continue. I obviously want to earn it. I don’t just want it to be like: Yeah, yeah. OK. Stay another year. I obviously want to be here because I know that I still belong here and can do performances like I did last week,” added the 34-year-old Australian.

Ricciardo had faced criticism from retired 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve before qualifying fifth in Canada, with the Canadian questioning why he was still there: “We’re hearing the same thing for the last five years. ‘We have to make the car better for him, poor him’.

No. You’re in F1. If you can’t cut it, go home. There’ll be someone else to take your place. I think his image has kept him in F1 more than his actual results,” Villeneuve said on Sky Sports television.

Ahead of the weekend in Barcelona former F1 driver, Johnny Herbert echoed Villeneuve’s sentiments: “I saw what Jacques said and the way he said it. It was the truth. Some people don’t like the truth sometimes. Jacques was spot on.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Additional Reporting by GRANDPRIX247)