Ricciardo reveals source of mounting pressure after wretched season start


Daniel Ricciardo has revealed the pressure mounting on him is coming from himself rather than Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

The Australian has made a miserable start to this season and heads into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix yet to score a point, in contrast to team-mate Yuki Tsunoda who finished seventh in the last race in Australia.

Speculation has suggested Ricciardo is in a race against time to save his career, with Liam Lawson waiting in the wings.

Ricciardo, though, is confident he will overcome his current difficulties and demonstrate the pace that saw him become an eight-time race winner, although he has conceded it might not happen this weekend.

Asked if he was under pressure, speaking to select media including RacingNews365, Ricciardo said: “Well, I say yes. But my answer is, it’s from me more than anyone you know.

“Of course, I’m sure there is from the outside, but I came into this season having a full pre-season, I had a really good winter, I trained my butt off, and I feel really good.

“So everything in my head and through my years of experience tells me that, yeah, we should start a season firing on all cylinders. So that’s where I’m like, okay, it hasn’t really happened yet and it’s been three races.

“But I know that I don’t need to change anything, it’ll come, it’s just a little bit here and there. Whatever is maybe just missing at the moment will click, and I think it’s one weekend away from that.”

No Marko pressure yet

Ricciardo is already at a disadvantage ahead of the Japanese GP as he will be replaced by Red Bull junior Ayumu Iwasa in first practice.

With Suzuka being a confidence circuit, this is a far from ideal situation for the Australian, considering the pressure he is putting on himself.

The 34-year-old knows that those watching him, particularly Marko, expect the highest of standards, although work is being carried out behind the scenes at RB to get Ricciardo to where he needs to be.

Questioned whether there was pressure being applied by Marko, Ricciardo replied: “No, but I also know what he expects and wants and it’s exactly what I want.

“I know it’s 24 races and it’s a long season. I have two good races now and all of a sudden it’s forgotten, the bad ones. But every race that passes is another one that…okay, so yes, three races and not having the result I want.

“I’m sure it’s also not what he wants or the team wants. So it’s important for us to like…Pierre, Patrick, my two engineers, have been working their butts off.

“And it’s important that we just focus on ourselves and don’t get kind of distracted by anything else. Of course, we all want the result, but it’s not going to come from receiving suggestions or advice or anything else.”



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