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F1 rival admits CONFUSION at Ricciardo downfall

F1 rival admits CONFUSION at Ricciardo downfall

F1 rival admits CONFUSION at Ricciardo downfall

F1 rival admits CONFUSION at Ricciardo downfall

Daniel Ricciardo’s future in F1 is in doubt after a lacklustre start to the season – and former team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has been left confused by his poor form.

Ricciardo made his return to the sport halfway through 2023 to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri and despite Liam Lawson replacing him after he missed five races with a broken wrist, the Aussie put in some respectful performances.

READ MORE: Red Bull boss makes 'fascinating' claim amid Sainz form

The 34-year-old was retained by the team as they rebranded to Visa Cash App RB for the 2024 season, but he has endured a difficult start to the year.

Ricciardo has been outpaced by his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda at all three races so far this season, with the Japanese driver scoring the team’s first points in Australia with a seventh-place finish.

Daniel Ricciardo has been outperformed by Yuki Tsunoda in 2024
His poor start as prompted criticism from Helmut Marko

Hulkenberg: I don't understand Ricciardo's poor form

His poor start to the year has prompted criticism from Red Bull chief Helmut Marko and has placed doubt over his future in F1, and speaking with the media in Australia, Hulkenberg, who was Ricciardo’s team-mate at Renault in 2019, admitted that he is perplexed by the Aussie’s struggles.

“No, it doesn't really make sense and I don't understand it,” said the Haas driver.

“Because in 2019, he was very competitive and on the pace. Since then [he’s struggled], the McLaren times, which obviously was still the same generation cars [compared to] the new generation cars.”

“It's tricky, especially from the outside, if you don't have all the info and all the data, it's tricky to judge,” he added. “But yeah, I don't know why. I think he’s still good, but back then he was stronger maybe.”

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