Hot prospect Daniel Ricciardo has declared his dream pick for a teammate in a video call with fans.
Heading into the last Grand Prix to be held in Malaysia, the Red Bull driver was asked who he would like to work alongside in the future and revealed his desire to partner championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
“I would like to go against Lewis (Hamilton). Hopefully he hangs around for a few more years and we might get a chance," Ricciardo said, as per The Mirror.
“We’ll see what happens, but yeah, it would be fun."
The Australian, who currently lies in fourth place in the drivers’ championship, clearly enjoyed his duel with the Brit at the Austrian Grand Prix in July, when he made it five podium finishes in a row after holding off Hamilton, who finished fourth, on the last lap. It was the performance of a world champion in waiting, according to the BBC’s Jonathan Legard.
It was the performance of a world champion in waiting, according to the BBC’s Jonathan Legard.
A third-place finish in last year’s drivers’ championship led to speculation Ricciardo was set to team-up with Hamilton and replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes following the current world champion’s shock retirement from the sport, before boss Christian Horner understandably revealed Red Bull's desire to hold him to the terms of his performance-related contract, which runs to the end of 2018.
For his part, Hamilton appears keen to maintain the status quo at Mercedes, with Rosberg’s successor Valtteri Bottas setting his sights on Sebastian Vettel’s second place in the driver’s championship.
After spending four years enduring an ultimately fractious partnership with Rosberg, Hamilton has spoken of the benefits of teaming up with Bottas.
“Having Valtteri on board has brought a lot of positivity to the team and dispelled a lot of negativity we had before,” he said. “We are a winning team and we can’t change any components of it.”
For the moment, Ferrari would appear a more likely destination for Ricciardo.
The 28-year-old was linked only last month with a move to the Italian manufacturers to replace Finn Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn will be 39 and could consider retirement if his contract is allowed to run out at the end of 2018.
Which just happens to be when Ricciardo’s contract is also up.