Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has revealed the team “will offer” Liam Lawson a race seat for the F1 2025 season amid mounting speculation over the future of Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo, who turned 35 earlier this week, has found himself fighting for his F1 future having largely disappointed since his return to the grid 12 months ago.

Helmut Marko drops new Liam Lawson hint with Daniel Ricciardo at risk

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

His ninth-placed finish at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix was just his third points finish in 18 starts since his comeback with RB (then AlphaTauri) ahead of last year’s Hungarian GP.

Earlier this year, Marko revealed that a clause contained in the contract of Lawson, who impressed across a five-race spell while standing in for the injured Ricciardo last autumn, will allow the New Zealander to walk away from Red Bull if he is not promoted to a permanent seat for F1 2025.

After new deals for Sergio Perez and Yuki Tsunoda were announced last month, Ricciardo holds the only unconfirmed seat across Red Bull’s two teams for next season.

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And ahead of the team’s home race in Austria, Marko piled the pressure on Ricciardo by admitting RB “will have to” find a place for Lawson on the command of Red Bull shareholders, who are keen to see the Faenza-based outfit return to their roots as a team to train young drivers.

He told Austria’s Kleine Zeitung: “The shareholders have made it clear that it is a junior team and we have to act accordingly.

“The goal was that [Ricciardo] would be considered for Red Bull Racing with exceptional performances. That seat now belongs to Sergio Perez, so that plan is no longer valid.

“We will have to put a young driver in there soon. That would be Liam Lawson.”

Ricciardo responded to Marko’s comments by finishing ninth at the Red Bull Ring, the third race in succession he has finished ahead of team-mate Tsunoda.

However, Red Bull appear unmoved in their determination to promote Lawson with Marko confirming the team intend to offer a race seat to the youngster – who is due to participate in a test with an 2022-spec car in the near future – for F1 2025.

Marko told German publication Bild: “We will offer him something. A cockpit for next year.”

“It is clear that RB are a junior team. That is also communicated internally and everyone has understood that.”

Marko’s comments come after it emerged over the Austrian GP weekend that Audi’s interest in Tsunoda and Lawson has forced Red Bull’s hand in the driver market, resulting in increased pressure on Ricciardo.

Swiss-German outlet Blick claimed that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner moved to extend Tsuonda’s contract upon learning that the Japanese driver had entered negotiations with Audi, who will take over the existing Sauber team in F1 2026.

The “same game” is now said to be playing out with Lawson, increasing Red Bull’s urgency to promote the 22-year-old to a full-time seat and leaving Ricciardo’s future hanging in the balance.

Red Bull’s option to promote Lawson for F1 2025 is thought to expire in September and, after Audi’s interest in the Kiwi stepped up, Marko reportedly “struck immediately despite the veto of Ricciardo’s friend Horner.”

Audi announced the signing of Nico Hulkenberg from Haas in April, but the identity of the German’s F1 2025 team-mate remains a mystery with the team known to have a long-standing interest in outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, who has also been lined to Williams and Alpine over recent weeks.

In an exclusive interview with during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, RB chief executive Peter Bayer admitted it will be “difficult” to retain Ricciardo for next season if his performances do not improve.

“We don’t need to develop Daniel. He came into the team to perform and to help us with Yuki,” he told

“Between Daniel and Yuki, Daniel has been part of that Yuki development project. At the same time, we obviously were also expecting from him as a very fast and experienced driver, we were expecting performance from him and we are expecting performance from him.”

Asked directly if Ricciardo’s seat is in danger, Bayer said: “So without creating pressure or doing an evaluation of if his seat is in danger, I think he knows – we know – that he needs to perform. If he’s not performing, it will be difficult to put him into the car next year.”

Bayer, who also revealed that RB are keeping Ricciardo’s media and sponsor appearances “to the absolute minimum” in order to allow the Australian to concentrate on on-track matters, insisted the team are “not in a hurry” to finalise their F1 2025 lineup.

“What I want to give Daniel is exactly that window of free air to race. We’re not in a hurry.

“We have Liam. You put him in the car, his seat is ready and everything, you know? He’s gonna start and go.

“We have Isack Hadjar behind him, he did FP1s and his seat is ready in the factory. We have [Ayumu] Iwasa ready to go.

“We’re not in a rush in terms of what we need to do as a team – that’s why we’re saying ‘Guys, hold on, we race’.

“In the summer break, yes, we’ll sit down and discuss.”

Meanwhile, Ricciardo insisted in Austria that he has received no “ultimatum” from Red Bull – insisting he retains the support of Horner and RB team principal Laurent Mekies – but conceded that he is likely to be at risk if his form does not pick up.

Asked if he has had an indication that his seat is in jeopardy, he told media including “No, I haven’t heard anything.

“There hasn’t been any pressure, ultimatum, nothing like that.

“But I’ve also been in the sport a long time and I know if I’m getting my arse kicked every weekend, at some point someone will be like: ‘Hey mate, step it up otherwise…’

“I haven’t had that, but I’m aware that having a good race every so often isn’t good enough and also not where I want to be. I don’t want to have an odd high and then a bunch of lows.

“I think I’ve had good support from obviously Christian, from Laurent, from everyone.

“They’re doing what they can obviously, but then at some point I’m the one in the car and I’ve got to push that throttle a bit harder.”

Asked if he fears that a final decision from RB will be communicated too late for him to find another drive for next season, Ricciardo said: “No, no.

“I don’t want to be casual about it, because obviously I care a lot, but I don’t know.

“Maybe I’m at a point where it’s just like what will be will be. And I’m just going to put everything I can on the table from an effort and performance [perspective].

“And if that is good enough to secure me a seat, great. If not, then OK. I did everything I could, but…

“I think in terms of the musical chairs stuff, if I get focused on that then I’m [in trouble].I need to put all my attention here. Simple as that.”

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