With under a year left on his current deal with Formula 1 team Red Bull, driver Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that there is 'some appeal' in the thought of joining a team that are currently perceived as being weaker, such as McLaren or Renault.
Australian Ricciardo, who has been with Red Bull since 2014, is weighing up his options for the next move of his racing career, with his current team hoping that he will remain with them but know they face competition for his services from other top teams such as Ferrari and Mercedes who see Ricciardo as an experienced and successful driver.
Yet, it is not just the so-called 'big' teams who are fighting for his signature, with both Renault and McLaren reportedly showing interest in the Aussie as well.
Renault had previously attempted to attract Ricciardo as part of the engine deals reshuffle that occurred last year, whilst it has recently been reported in Germany that McLaren are preparing a big-money move for the charismatic Ricciardo as well.
Ricciardo had previously been quoted as saying that he wanted to be in a car 'that can win the world title', leading to reports linking him to teams that are competitive in every race such as Mercedes and Ferrari.
However, he did not dismiss questions posed to him about whether he would be interested in teams further down the field with the potential to build around him as the main driver ahead of the Canadian GP and cited the example Lewis Hamilton set when he went to Mercedes.
"I'm not going to say 'no, it doesn't interest me at all'," he said when asked about the reported offers from McLaren and Renault, per Motorsport. "Probably more 'cause [of] what Lewis was able to do with Mercedes.
"And I know that, if you're saying those two teams, they're not quite in that position yet - but could they be? Maybe.
"The thought of that, it has some appeal. I wouldn't say it's probably top of my list right now, but I wouldn't dismiss it, also.
"They're not quite in that position yet - but could they be? Maybe."
Of Hamilton's move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013, which at the time was a shock move as McLaren were seen as the bigger team with a greater chance of success, Ricciardo thinks the Brit timed it to perfection.
"Lewis pulled the trigger pretty well," Ricciardo added. "Whether he fluked it - he says that he really knew it was going to happen, I don't know.
"Obviously he's done well for himself with that move. So, whether it's just a fantasy for everyone else, I don't know, but at least there's a little bit of proof that something like that could potentially happen again."
Whilst Ricciardo has made it clear that he has received no offer from McLaren, he feels that interest from them would make sense given their current circumstances with uncertainty over current driver Fernando Alonso's future with the team.
"I'll be honest, obviously, everyone's talking about Mercedes and Ferrari for potential places for me to go, but I'm aware that there's obviously going to be interest from other teams, and I guess McLaren is probably one of them," he continued.
"Probably depends as well on what Fernando [Alonso] does, if he stays, if he goes. If he does go, then I guess, yeah, they'd probably want someone, a more experienced driver to come in."
When it comes to choosing where he wants to continue his racing career, Ricciardo said there are lots of things for him to "weigh up". One of the main issues he will be thinking of is Red Bull's switch to use Honda engines in 2019-2020, a deal that was announced earlier this week.
He said: "There's certainty a lot of pros. Just trying to add it all up, really, in my mind.
"Just going to try and understand a little bit more about it now that it's definitely happening, and just to try and keep putting the pieces together if it's a good move".News Now - Sport News