Webber offers Ricciardo words of wisdom amidst Red Bull contract talks - Iforsports

Webber offers Ricciardo words of wisdom amidst Red Bull contract talks

Former Red Bull raer Mark Webber feels that Daniel Ricciardo would be vbest served to focus his attention on beating teammate Max Verstappen at the start of this season, amidst talk of a potential contract renewal for next year.

Ricciardo’s existing deal with Red Bull will expire at the end of the 2018 season and the Australian has spoken about how he is open to other opportunities, with Mercedes and Ferrari both set to have one vacancy next year.

But Webber, who drove for Red Bull between 2007 and 2013, believes that Ricciardo’s main aim should be beating Verstappen.

“I think the best thing he can do is beat Max,” he told Fox Sports.

“That’s the best thing he can do. Which he knows, and he’s going to do his best to do that.

“If he wants to try and have a crack at that for five-six months, then look at the options.”

Last year, Verstappen put pen to paper on a new deal at Red Bull after speculation was mounting that Ferrari would prise him away. He is now set to stay with the team till 2020, with team boss Christian Horner claiming that they will now build their team around the young Dutchman.

While Webber said that there was a degree of favouritism at Ferrari towards Schumacher during his time with the team, he did not think that Ricciardo would have to go through the same thing.

“Red Bull will support the guy that’s leading the championship and doing the business,” he said. “If that’s Daniel, I reckon he’s still in great shape there, to be honest, because he is a Red Bull product.

“I don’t think Helmut (Marko) would be disappointed to see Daniel as world champion. But he loves Max as well. They’re both his favourite guys.

“But if he’s beating Max and Red Bull are flying again, why would he leave? At the end of the day, I don’t think Dan’s too bothered what colour the car is. He just wants to win.

“That’s what he’s aiming to do, and it’s hard to win consistently. They don’t hand them out. He’s totally capable of it, but he’s just got to find himself in a position where he can get that opportunity.”

On whether he felt that Ricciardo would be a good candidate to partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Webber said, “That prospect is like a dog’s balls, everyone can see that coming.

“There’s an obvious link — they’re both out of contract, he’s a top-flight driver and there’s a chance for a switch. I don’t think Mercedes will be rushing to make a decision either, they’re going to keep a good eye on Valtteri and see how he’s performing, probably until Canada.”

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