Formula 1


Update on Daniel Ricciardo's contract talks with Red Bull

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There are a number of Formula 1 drivers who are due to be out of contract at the end of the season, including none other than world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Although it's likely that the majority of them will agree new deals to stay on with their respective teams, there's always that slight feeling of apprehension and uncertainty when drivers don't sign on the dotted line.

It can often cause rifts within a team and more importantly, gives rivals the opportunity to potentially further upset the team dynamics by trying to other teams' drivers.

Red Bull have clearly sensed this in recent months, with Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari potentially looking for replacements, and have taken the necessary action to try to secure the services of Daniel Ricciardo again next season.

The 28-year-old had made it clear earlier this month that he is seriously thinking about his options before committing for a further year.

"It's a big decision for me, so if I need to take time to make it, I will," the Australian said when asked about his future status with the Red Bull team. "I'm planning on being in the sport for a long while yet..."

It was clear to Ricciardo that talks would have to wait until April and as such a deadline would have to be set so that both parties knew where they stood for 2019.

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day Two

Pressure has also increased since the climax of last season when it was announced that Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen had extended his deal with Red Bull until 2020. 

But, it seems that the waiting is over for both sides and an initial discussion has taken place after Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko admitted a deadline has been agreed for the two parties to agree terms on a new deal.

"We agreed with him a deadline," he told Sky Sports. "So as soon as this deadline is over we'll tell you if it's yes or no."

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day Two

The fear for Red Bull is that they'll lose a strong driver, which will set them back in their bid to challenge for the F1 title. They clearly believe their new RB14 car is the best in the business and with the right team, can propel them towards the glory they crave.

For Ricciardo, it's a race against time, and a switch in focus to challenging for the title is on the horizon.

Given his experience and the high regard he is held in, there is unlikely to be any shortage of other manufacturers keen to sign Ricciardo up.

One way or another Ricciardo will know if his future remains at Red Bull sooner rather than later.

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Daniel Ricciardo
Formula 1

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