Shock team enters fray to sign Red Bull's Ricciardo - Iforsports

Shock team enters fray to sign Red Bull’s Ricciardo

Formula One expert James Allen has highlighted how Mercedes and Ferrari may both be keen to rope in Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the 2018 season, but he also feels that McLaren still has a legitimate chance of securing the Aussie’s signature.

Recently, the team signed drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne for the 2018 season, but it is unclear if the pair are contracted beyond the upcoming season.

Allen said Ricciardo’s friendship with McLaren executive director Zak Brown could also play into the Australian’s hands when he decides which team to pursue at the end of the season.

While McLaren suffered a disastrous 2017 campaign and have made a switch from a Honda power-unit to a Renault engine in a bid to challenge for spots on the podium this year, early signs seem to suggest that the team is in much better shape this year.

If they are able to keep pace with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, Allen has claimed that Ricciardo may give it a serious thought.

“McLaren is another possibility for Ricciardo due to a strong relationship with Zak Brown, but they are some way off winning a world title and that is Ricciardo’s first order priority in the next two to three years,” Allen said.

“After that he risks what happened to Fernando Alonso; younger drivers like Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen came along and there was no longer an opening in a title worthy car.”

Ricciardo said last week he expects to resume contract talks with Red Bull after the first few races of the Formula One season that starts in Melbourne in March.

“Nothing has really developed since the end of the season. I switched off from F1,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports during the first round of pre-season testing in Spain on Thursday (AEDT).

“I think realistically around April things will start to be spoken. After a few races, hopefully I win the first few and I can have a powerful say in what I do.”

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