FEBRUARY 29, 2024

Ricciardo expects A-B team saga to calm down

Daniel Ricciardo thinks the controversy surrounding RB's relationship with the senior team Red Bull Racing will "calm down" early in 2024.

Daniel Ricciardo, Las Vegas GP 2023
© Red Bull

Outspoken critics including McLaren CEO Zak Brown have been blasting the ever-closer collaboration between his two rival teams, suggesting one of his biggest concerns is that the former Alpha Tauri squad is now moving to Britain.

Newly-rebranded RB's new team boss Laurent Mekies denies that, although he admits that some operations will be moved to Red Bull's Milton-Keynes HQ.

We have a first-class factory in Faenza and we are not moving to England, he insisted. It has just been shown to us that it is worthwhile to have a branch in Britain because there a lot of people who simply don't want to move to Italy.

But in a 2024 field that has now converged around the basic car concept used by Red Bull Racing in 2022-2023, it is being suggested that the new 'RB' is essentially last year's title-winning car.

No, no, Ricciardo insisted in Bahrain on Wednesday. I think there are some people who think we're Aston Martin from last year or the pink Mercedes from a few years ago, but I don't think we're going to be fighting for the podium.

So when the team settles back into the midfield, Ricciardo thinks some people will calm down.

We are using some parts that we are allowed to use, confirmed the Australian. But it's not at the level that some people think.

An arguably bigger team talking point set to develop in 2024 is that Ricciardo, 34, may find himself in a big battle with his teammate Yuki Tsunoda to snap up Sergio Perez's Red Bull Racing seat for next year.

Ricciardo says he is not daydreaming about Red Bull Racing yet, agreeing that he has a more pressing issue on his hands. I realise that Yuki also wants to position himself for a cockpit there, he said.

As for Tsunoda, 23, he insists that a Red Bull seat for 2025 is not yet being dangled in front of him.

Helmut (Marko) hasn't set any goals yet, said the Japanese. "But I understand that everything depends on the results. If they are good, there is a chance that something will happen.

If other teams show interest in me, it will mean that I had a good season, so this is exactly what I will try for.