Speculation about Daniel Ricciardo’s future has been a regular story in recent months, out of contract at the end of this year the Australian has been biding his time as he considers his options in Formula 1 beyond 2018.
However, those options he supposedly had (or has) have never been made public but on the other hand, it is well known that Red Bull bosses want to keep him alongside Max Verstappen until the end of 2020.
At Silverstone, Ricciardo signalled that he is likely to remain with the team that mentored him through his junior career and financed his HRT Formula 1 debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix, before promoting him to Toro Rosso in 2012 and finally to the senior team a couple of years later
He told reporters, “It’s obviously looking more and more likely I will remain, but there still hasn’t been pen to paper and we are just trying to get a few last things sorted.”
Word is Ricciardo wants a deal that guarantees him earnings on par with younger teammate Verstappen who is pocketing around $25-million annually for his services
Meanwhile, until four times F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton inks a new deal the driver market is in limbo, the Mercedes driver’s signature is likely to trigger a flurry of contract signings.
No team has confirmed their driver line-ups for 2019 and realistically the top three teams should stay the same, although growing stature of Ferrari backed rookie Charles Leclerc will put pressure on Ferrari to decide about Kimi Raikkonen’s future.
Over the years Ricciardo has been linked to Ferrari and Mercedes, while more recently McLaren are said to have tabled a lucrative offer for him to consider, “Not every door has closed but it is looking more and more likely that the other teams will remain with their line-ups.”
“I don’t have the facts on that but you can read between the lines. If it wasn’t Red Bull, they are the two most attractive options.”
So if they are not possible it’s hard for me to be convinced there is a better option than Red Bull,” added the big smiling Aussie, suggesting if Ferrari and Mercedes don’t come calling he will stay in blue.