Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo up to his usual tricks in latest Formula One interview

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F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo was in typically fine form ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix as he joked around with a reporter, using sign language as he was interviewed alongside team mate Max Verstappen.

As usual, he is one of the most easygoing and humorous drivers on the F1 circuit. However, the Australian has hinted that time is running out for Red Bull to deliver him a world title-winning car.

Ricciardo, who signed a two-year extension contract with Red Bull last year, has been a loyal and patient servant of the Woking-based team, but is clearly frustrated now that Ferrari - and particularly Ricciardo's former teammate Sebastian Vettel - have seemingly surpassed Red Bull as Mercedes' main challenger.

"Obviously now it gets to that point where we really, and I, want to be fighting for a championship," Ricciardo said from Monaco. 

"It can't kind of be a long-term plan anymore to me.

"Obviously I thought this year would be a chance and that seems to be slipping away. So we have got to see some real progress over the year and a sign that next year it can be delivered, because it is just, obviously, personal goals ... I have won a few races now and all that and that's great, but what I really want is a championship, so we'll see how the progress goes."

However, Ricciardo doesn't have an escape clause in his contract and will remain with Red Bull until 2018, team principal Christian Horner has said.

Asked at the Monaco Grand Prix if Ricciardo and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen had contracts with performance-related elements that might allow them to look elsewhere, Horner told Reuters: "No, none at all. They are both straightforward clean contracts.

"I've got no doubt that both Max and Daniel will be driving an RB14 next year."

In Thursday afternoon practice in Monaco, Ricciardo was second fastest - although he still trailed the Ferrari pacesetter Vettel by nearly half a second.

"I'm pretty pleased," said Ricciardo. "Firstly, to drive this track – it's so much fun. I think regardless of how the car feels, it's fun. I feel like we got back in that groove around here.

“We'll work on the car tonight, as there are a few little things I want to work on, but in general we're there, we're in that window where we need to be. We're not a second off it or anything so that's promising."

You can watch Ricciardo's antics in the interview below.

Ricciardo experienced contrasting emotions in Monaco last year when he claimed a first career pole and went on to only to lose a likely win due to a botched pit stop.

"It will be hard to say it will be as good as last year's," he added. "We're more on the back foot.

"But I believe a podium's still possible this weekend."

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