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Ricciardo doesn't need Marko criticisms to realise he must do better

Daniel Ricciardo says he does not need Helmut Marko's criticisms to make him realise he needs to do a better job in Formula 1.

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

The Australian found himself on the receiving end of a pointed remark from Red Bull's motorsport advisor after a disappointing showing in the Saudi Arabian GP, where he was outqualified once again by team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Writing in his column for Speedweek about the performance of RB's two drivers, Marko said: "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."

Ricciardo is no stranger to knowing how cutting Marko can be when it comes to assessing drivers but says that he is more than aware himself of the need to improve.

Asked if Marko's comments were annoying coming ahead of the spotlight of his home race, Ricciardo said: "No, it's not annoying. I think that's always a big part of our job.

"The most important part is the driving, but a big part of it is talking to you guys and obviously hearing [what is said]. When things go well, obviously everyone's talking positively and when they don't, they don't talk so positively. So that's part of it."

Ricciardo said that he was his own biggest critic, so was more than aware that how things were going right now was not good enough.

"The more I get into the sport, the more I just know that I'm back here because I believe I can do it," he said. "I believe I belong here, and it's really that.

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"When people say, do you have a point to prove or anything, or do you need to keep people happy or please anyone? I'm here for myself. It's honestly that because I know I can still do it. I do want to make people proud, the people that support me."

He added: "Of course, I want to be qualifying Q3. I want to get the results that I believe I can. But it's tight. We're in such a tight midfield and like Bahrain in quali, I knew I didn't put the lap together I should have. And I put my hand up for that.

"That was the difference from maybe P14 to a Q3. I think the end of Q1 in Saudi from P9 to P16 was less than a tenth. So, you can very quickly look like a hero or not. And that's where every tenth counts. And that's where obviously I look to myself first."

Ricciardo's difficult start to the season comes at a time when he hopes some stellar results would help put him in the frame for a seat at Red Bull next year.

But he says thoughts of his prospects for 2025 remain far away right now, as the focus has to be on delivering more for RB.

"Yeah, it could be a wonderful full circle moment and finish my career there," he said. "That would obviously make me happy.

"But I just approach every weekend now one by one. I think when the sport for me was kind of nearly taken away, and obviously a year ago there was no guarantee I would be back here, that kind of long-term way of thinking is just not where I'm at.

"So right now, it's really focused on where I am. We've got a big task ahead. Try to do what I can there. Try to kick some butt and then see where the wind takes me."

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