Ricciardo responds to Marko criticism


RB driver Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed concerns that comments made by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko could become a distraction.

The Australian has struggled to make an impression so far this season, beating teammate Yuki Tsuonda in Bahrain only through an alternate strategy and a late team order, whilst a clumsy spin in Saudi Arabia capped off a poor second race of the new F1 campaign.

Following the race in Jeddah, Marko wrote for Speedweek that “there is a lot at stake this season for both Yuki and Daniel”.

“Yuki’s qualifying was very good and Ricciardo will have to come up with something soon,” added the Austrian.

Asked whether this was annoying as it could add pressure when Ricciardo was facing the media, the Australian told outlets including RacingNews365: “It’s not annoying.

“The most important part of our job is the driving but a big part of it is talking [to the media].

“When things go well, everyone is talking positively and when they don’t [go well], they don’t talk so positively.”

‘That’s where I look to myself first.’

Ricciardo made his way back onto the F1 grid with the Faenza-based outfit, formerly AlphaTauri, after 10 races last term in place of Nyck de Vries.

The eight-time grand prix winner will be targeting a return to Red Bull and a race-winning seat at the end of the season but he has insisted he is not trying to prove himself to others.

“I know that I came back here because I believe I can do it, I believe I belong here,” he insisted.

“When people ask ‘do you have a point to prove’ or ‘keep people happy’… I am here for myself because I know I can still do it.

“I do want to make people proud but if someone says something, I know it already because I have told myself that, and I know what is expected.

“So, of course, I want to be qualifying in Q3 and get the results I believe I can, but it’s tight, we are in such a tight midfield.

“In Bahrain in quali, I knew I didn’t quite put the lap together I should have and I put my hand up for that but that’s the difference from maybe P14 to Q3.

“End of Q1 in Saudi, P9 to P16 was less than a tenth so you can very quickly look like a hero or not.

“That’s where every tenth counts and that’s where I look to myself first.”

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