Ricciardo: Red Bull best long-term F1 bet despite Mercedes opening

Daniel Ricciardo is confident committing to the Red Bull Formula 1 team long term will still pay off despite Nico Rosberg's retirement creating opportunities at Mercedes

Ricciardo: Red Bull best long-term F1 bet despite Mercedes opening

Ricciardo is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2018, and believes that remains the best place for him to fight for the world championship - while admitting that a Mercedes seat was tempting for anyone.

"I wouldn't be surprised if nearly everyone had been in contact with them," Ricciardo told Autosport's sister title Motorsport.com.

"And like I said from the start, whoever ends up getting that seat, I think they should appreciate it very much because it's not every day someone gets that kind of opportunity.

"But I extended my contract with Red Bull having the confidence in them that I have. We'll see how it plays out."

Valtteri Bottas is expected to move across to Mercedes from Williams following Rosberg's departure, with confirmation of the deal likely in the coming days.

"I've been asked who'll get the drive and I'm still not sure; I notice Bottas is emerging as a bit of a favourite, but we'll see," Ricciardo added.

"Whatever happens, I hope we'll be up there fighting with them and that Max [Verstappen] and I will be smiling that we've got long deals with Red Bull."

Ricciardo was part of Red Bull's driver development scheme through his pre-F1 career and drove for its junior team Toro Rosso in 2012 and '13.

Promoted to Red Bull Racing for 2014 after Mark Webber's retirement, Ricciardo claimed three grand prix victories and was a winner again in Malaysia last season after a difficult '15.

The 27-year-old believes he starts a crucial phase in his career in 2017, having proved his ability without yet mounting a championship campaign.

"In a way, every year's important but sure, the further your career goes on [the more important it gets]," said Ricciardo.

"Especially when I will be approaching my late 20s, it's an important period in my career.

"I feel I have already established myself, but to really dictate the next five years after that, it's a crucial time for me.

"I really want to get that world title and if it happens with Red Bull, that's the ideal scenario.

"If not, then this time is about trying to prepare for the next phase of your career after that."

shares
comments
How Rosberg spiced up the 2018 driver market

Previous article

How Rosberg spiced up the 2018 driver market

Next article

Ferrari letter prompts row over 2017 Formula 1 suspension designs

Ferrari letter prompts row over 2017 Formula 1 suspension designs
Load comments
How F1's biggest crisis helped trigger its exciting 2021 season Plus

How F1's biggest crisis helped trigger its exciting 2021 season

Formula 1's return to Austria this weekend comes under exceedingly different circumstances to its last Spielberg visit, when F1 took its first tentative steps out of the global COVID shutdown. But the tightrope F1 walked in 2020 has ultimately led to the most exciting season of the hybrid era

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold? Plus

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold?

OPINION: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned Max Verstappen winning the French Grand Prix – an event where Mercedes had previously been dominant – would signal “we can beat them anywhere”. Here’s how that claim stacks up looking at the rest of the 2021 season

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2021
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Plus

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2021
French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021