Daniel Ricciardo comes clean on knifing Nyck de Vries rumours, Formula 1 news

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Daniel Ricciardo has come clean on Formula 1 knifing rumours.

The 34-year-old Aussie has found himself under the spotlight once again after a lacklustre start to the 2024 season.

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It’s an eerily similar situation to the one F1 rookie Nyck de Vries faced last season with AlphaTauri when he struggled to impress in his debut season.

Ultimately he was let go by the team and was replaced by Ricciardo who had joined Red Bull as a reserve driver after being axed one season early from McLaren.

Ricciardo has now come clean and rubbished suggestions he had pressed the team to make the move and get him into de Vries’ seat.

“I didn’t put pressure on Red Bull. I never said that they had to replace Nyck with me. I thought if it has to be this way, it will be this way,” he told Viaplay.

“I thought, ‘I’ll just keep preparing in the simulator and do all the other things to show that I’m getting back up to standard. If they call me I’ll be ready. If they don’t call, I’ll use this time to work myself.’

“When I did get the call, it was earlier than I expected. That was surprising, but you don’t turn down an opportunity like that.”

The eight-time Grand Prix winner now finds himself in the same situation de Vries faced in 2023 with the Aussie reportedly given a two-race ultimatum to perform.

“Should Ricciardo fail to improve over the next two Grand Prix in Japan and China respectively, Red Bull will perform a swap that sees Lawson likely installed in the Racing Bulls seat for Miami and remain with the team for the rest of the season,” the New Zealand Herald report stated.

However, Planet F1 reported that Ricciardo “is in no danger of losing his seat”.

New Zealand wunderkind Liam Lawson is waiting in the wings, but his management team came forward to say Red Bull have not advised the youngster of any such move.

Those who have been around F1 for a while know the rumour mill is in constant action, but that also teams will deny and deny until they pull the trigger.

Daniel Ricciardo risk of F1 exile

But for Ricciardo, the talk is just that for now and much more pressing is turning his season around.

“In terms of the noise, people tell me like in the media, they’re like, ‘Oh, so and so said’ – it’s the first I’ve heard,” Ricciardo told Motorsport.com.

“It’s obviously no disrespect to (the media), but I know that I’m on this little process or journey at the moment and I just need to focus on myself.

“If I let any of the noise in, it’s going to kind of distract me from the path I’m on.

“I haven’t let any of that negative stuff creep in.”

The season began with such optimism for Ricciardo, who was looking to press for the seat he once held in the Red Bull team with pressure put on Sergio Perez.

But in three races he has failed to register a point and has been a long way behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

The Japanese Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, April 7 from 3pm (AEDT).

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