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Marko blasts Tsunoda and Ricciardo as "too slow" in F1 races

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has blasted RB Formula 1 duo Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo as “too slow” in races, as he laments their lack of points.

Yuki Tsunoda, RB F1 Team VCARB 01

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

With RB having been relaunched this year under new management, owner Red Bull had hoped the team would deliver progress on track to fight nearer the front of the field.

But a difficult start to the campaign, with RB fighting in the second half of the pack, has left both Tsunoda and Ricciardo unable to finish in the top 10 so far.

And, with both having come into the year hoping to put themselves in the frame to land a Red Bull seat for 2025, the disappointment is clear to see.

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Marko in particular thinks that, with the position RB is in right now, there is no room for either driver to let slip opportunities that are handed to them.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Marko said: “There's a lot at stake for [Tsunoda and Ricciardo]. Both might be hoping for a seat at Red Bull, and one should be well ahead of the other.

“So far Ricciardo is a bit behind. But let's put it this way: Tsunoda's qualifying speed is OK. But in the race, both are too slow.”

Daniel Ricciardo, VCARB 01

Daniel Ricciardo, VCARB 01

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

Marko reckoned points had gone begging in the first two races, which he felt was something that should not have happened. 

“I think one point would have been possible in each of the first two races,” he said.

“It's very difficult to score points behind the top five [teams] and, when you have an opportunity, you can't afford to make mistakes. You have to test the decisions in the absolute right order.”

The driver picture for Red Bull next year is becoming clearer, with incumbent Perez having had an encouraging start to the season and the RB duo not showing anything that makes it a no-brainer to promote them.

Looking at the situation surrounding the second Red Bull cockpit, Marko suggested that thoughts should probably be more about the long term.

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“Sergio is in a very good position at the moment,” said Marko. “He has delivered two very good races and he's second in the championship. The question of who should replace Perez doesn't really arise.

“But it's about the future. Perez is no longer the youngest, nor is Ricciardo. And if you then take other aspects into account, another driver could certainly be included in this process.”

Asked if that could mean Liam Lawson, who impressed as Ricciardo’s temporary replacement at AlphaTauri last year, Marko said: “He has to sit in the car first and prove himself. But what he showed in his [five] appearances [in 2023] was very promising.”

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