Why Ricciardo has stayed away from Red Bull negotiations till now - Iforsports

Why Ricciardo has stayed away from Red Bull negotiations till now

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo said that he expects the team to start contract talks with him after the first few races of the upcoming Formula One season on his home territory in Melbourne this month.

The 28-year-old will be faced with an important decision, with a widespread theory that now is the best time for him to choose a team that can actually give him a chance of winning the drivers’ championship.

In terms of it being a historic event, it would also make him the first world champion Australia has produced since Alan Jones in 1980.

While Mercedes and Ferrari will both potentially have a vacant seat at the end of the upcoming season, as well as Red Bull being outspoken last term about looking to build a team around Max Verstappen, there has been speculation that Ricciardo may well jump ship and sign for one of the rivals.

“Nothing has really developed since the end of the season. I switched off from F1,” Ricciardo said on Wednesday.

“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.”

It has emerged that Mercedes is likely to extend Lewis Hamilton’s contract by a further 3 years, but Valtteri Bottas only has a year left on his contract, and the extension depends largely on how well he fares this term.

As far as Ferrari is concerned, 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen will also be out of contract at the end of 2018, but the team has often made it rather evident that they favour four-time champion and 2017 runner-up Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo, race winner in Azerbaijan last year, joined former champions Red Bull Racing in 2014 after making his debut with now-defunct HRT in 2011 and racing for Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso for two years.

The Australian was fastest on the opening day of pre-season testing on Monday.

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