Max Verstappen’s new Red Bull deal that will keep him at the team to at least 2020 hasn’t been good news for just the Dutchman.
In no rush to sort out his future, Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that if he does end up looking towards Mercedes or Ferrari for a race seat post 2018, it aids him massively as if either of those teams were chasing the Dutchman then they can no longer do so.
Ricciardo is in no rush at all to seal a new Red Bull as he still has 2018 left to run on his current contract, and the team have already stated they want to keep Max and Daniel together as a pairing.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) October 27, 2017
“I don’t think it’s hurt me in any way, if anything it has made my position stronger.
If Max was on the radar of Ferrari or Mercedes, that’s removed one opponent, and obviously Red Bull have expressed they want to keep us as a pairing.
I’ve obviously got the start of next season on my side in terms of I can see where we are at with Red Bull, then play it out.
I’m not going to pull the trigger on anything early. I think I should be smart and take my time.” – Daniel Ricciardo
Ricciardo has stated recently he’d love to fight Lewis Hamilton in the same car with the Briton in his prime, and the Australian would also love to have another crack at being Sebastian Vettel’s teammate after pretty much wiping the floor with the German in 2014.
There were factors behind the then reigning champion’s poor form that year, and with them both at their best right now, it would be very tasty indeed to see them battle it out at Ferrari together and certainly something fans worldwide would relish.
Neither Kimi Raikkonen or Valtteri Bottas are performing on as high a level as their respective teammates, so adding Ricciardo to their line up would only bolster their own championship chances, although Bottas does have the potential to improve massively into 2018.
“If I use Kimi [Raikkonen] and Valtteri [Bottas] as examples, they’re only helping out Lewis and Seb because they weren’t strong enough in the championship [themselves].
If Valtteri was ahead of Lewis, he wouldn’t be helping Lewis. I feel the performances always speak for themselves.” – Daniel Ricciardo
I'm not Adam Sandler, I like hamburgers and I wish I could sing … https://t.co/bvqVRAnQeh
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) October 10, 2017
Ricciardo has probably become the biggest player in next years silly season. If he does not commit to Red Bull then almost every team on the grid would surely come knocking at his door and asking for his services, and why wouldn’t they?
He is undoubtedly one of the best drivers on the grid right now, and someone who Fernando Alonso has praised several times. This year’s driver market rather stagnated, with Alonso staying at McLaren and Raikkonen staying put at Ferrari plus of course Bottas getting a new Mercedes deal.
If Ricciardo is a free agent next year, things could get very interesting indeed, and provide us with plenty of excitement for 2019. A long way away yet, but things always move fast in Formula 1.