Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo appears open to Mercedes move

Last Updated April 26 2018, 14:42Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has left the door ajar to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next season.

The Australian driver is Formula One's hottest property after he produced an overtaking masterclass to storm to victory in China a fortnight ago and he's 9/1 to go in again in Azerbaijan this week.

Ricciardo, 28, is out of contract at the end of the year, and while Red Bull are keen to retain his services, he is set to have the pick of the sport's top three teams for 2019.

Despite qualifying ahead of Hamilton at both of the past two rounds, Valtteri Bottas could be moved on from Mercedes at the end of the year, while Kimi Raikkonen's future at Ferrari is also unclear.

A move to Ferrari would see Ricciardo once again join forces with Sebastian Vettel, who he out-performed during their one campaign together at Red Bull back in 2014. Vettel subsequently left to join Ferrari.

"I would love to be challenged against the best and Lewis is arguably up there," said Ricciardo ahead of this week's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"I've got a good challenge now obviously with Max [Verstappen] and I had Seb, too, so I don't want to say it's just Lewis I'm looking for, but that would be a good challenge."

Ricciardo is likely to wait until the summer break before making his decision with Mercedes understood to be willing to give Bottas the first half of the year to prove his worth.

Mercedes are open to the idea of pairing Ricciardo with Hamilton and would not anticipate a repeat of the intra-team fireworks that overshadowed Nico Rosberg's time alongside the Briton.

At Ferrari meanwhile, Raikkonen has proved to be the perfect deputy for Vettel, but the veteran Finn turns 39 in October. Ricciardo, who claims to have spoken only to Red Bull about his plans for next year, insisted here on Thursday that he would only consider a move to the Italian giants on equal terms.

"I would always make sure that there was some clarity," Ricciardo added. "I wouldn't want to go somewhere where I didn't feel I had a chance.

"At the moment what I'm chasing is to try and be world champion. That's my goal, my dream, and something I really believe I'm capable of, so if someone said 'we'll let you come here but you can't do this', that's not an attractive option to me."

Hamilton meanwhile, had planned to put pen to paper on his new Mercedes contract before last month's opening race of the season in Melbourne.

But as he prepares for the fourth round, winless and nine points adrift of championship leader Vettel, the 33-year-old Englishman is yet to agree terms.

"I am fully committed to Mercedes," Hamilton said. "I have every plan to be with the team for the future. It is not a rushed thing. I have made it clear and they have made it clear that we will continue.

"Neither of us have the personality to say I am definitely going to be with you next year and then not commit."

Related F1 links

Most Read

France captain Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup trophy1

France win 2018 World Cup

France are world champions for the second time after beating Croatia 4-2 in a thrilling World Cup final in Moscow.

Check out the rumours in today's papers2

Sunday Paper Talk

Real Madrid are ready to break the world record with a £200m bid for Eden Hazard after the Chelsea forward hinted his time at Stamford Bridge might soon come to an end.

Novak Djokovic with the Wimbledon trophy3

Djokovic far too good for Anderson

Novak Djokovic is a grand slam winner once again after defeating a weary Kevin Anderson to claim his fourth Wimbledon title.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action4

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers fancies Airshow at Windsor and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Luka Modric (left) collects his World Cup Golden Boot award, while Kylian Mbappe wins young player of the tournament5

66/1 Modric wins Golden Ball

He may not be getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but Luka Modric was the recipient of the tournament's Golden Ball award.

Most Read

France captain Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup trophy1

France win 2018 World Cup

France are world champions for the second time after beating Croatia 4-2 in a thrilling World Cup final in Moscow.

Check out the rumours in today's papers2

Sunday Paper Talk

Real Madrid are ready to break the world record with a £200m bid for Eden Hazard after the Chelsea forward hinted his time at Stamford Bridge might soon come to an end.

Novak Djokovic with the Wimbledon trophy3

Djokovic far too good for Anderson

Novak Djokovic is a grand slam winner once again after defeating a weary Kevin Anderson to claim his fourth Wimbledon title.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action4

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers fancies Airshow at Windsor and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Luka Modric (left) collects his World Cup Golden Boot award, while Kylian Mbappe wins young player of the tournament5

66/1 Modric wins Golden Ball

He may not be getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but Luka Modric was the recipient of the tournament's Golden Ball award.

Racing Tips

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers fancies Airshow at Windsor and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Richard Mann previews Monday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Ayr for Sir Mark Prescott.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Next Race Off
20:40 Laurel Park
7
(7)
Nico Bree N Teej
J: Jomar Torres
3
(3)
Moonlight Shadow
J: Alex Cintron
2
(2)
Saratoga Bob
J: Edgar Prado

Football Tips

Neymar in action for Brazil against Serbia

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in July 2018.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

We have two best bets for the World Cup final

World Cup final betting tips

There's a David v Goliath battle in the World Cup final but will France prove just one game too far for Croatia? Paul Higham has two best bets.