The Australian phenomenon that is Daniel Ricciardo has made an extremely strong start to the F1 season following a superb win at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The driver’s ability to overtake almost at will has thrust him into the heat of conversation: that he may look for a fresh challenge at either Ferrari or Mercedes, both of whom may have available seats at the end of the current season.
Rumours have certainly been swirling that Ricciardo has reached a pre-contract option with Scuderia Ferrari, enabling him to only deal with the Italian outfit for a set period.
Ricciardo has broken his silence, however, and categorically denied these rumours.
“I have only had talks with Red Bull," he said at the press conference ahead of the Azerbaijan GP.
“Even already last year we have been pretty open with each other and through the media as well they say they are interested in keeping me.
“We have had some talk regarding this.
“I am aware of other reports, they are untrue.”
The Australian has made it clear on several occasions that he wishes to drive for a team that has a car which will allow him to compete for a Drivers’ Championship.
He has also stated that he is only willing to be the principal driver for whichever team he is a part of in 2019. Ferrari seem extremely content with the progress and form of their current championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo recently spoke to the media regarding his opinions on this topic.
“If someone said, ‘we will let you in here, but you can’t do this’, that is not an attractive option for me.”
The Red Bull driver knows his worth to a team and does not want to be limited in his future role in whichever team he may join.
He has expressed his satisfaction with the environment and harmony within the Red Bull team, implying he is happy where he is.
He has revealed that a decision will be made on his part at some point during the summer break.
“I guess I don’t really fear not having a seat next year so I don’t feel I need to sign something tomorrow or I have nothing.”
When asked if he could see himself at another team in 2019, Ricciardo responded: “I don’t know. I think the curiosity will not overcome the facts, in terms of which car is ultimately the fastest.
“I wouldn’t just go somewhere for a change. If I did move on, I would make sure I felt it was potentially better.”
It is evident that Ricciardo is at a peak of confidence in his career to date. His ability as a driver has never been questioned, and should he partner with one of the faster and more efficient cars of 2019, there is no reason why we won’t see him celebrating his first championship victory.
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