Daniel Ricciardo sees the benefit of delaying Red Bull contract talks


Photo: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Daniel Ricciardo has said that he feels that delaying contract renewal talks with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is a risk worth taking.

Ricciardo has not changed his stance since the news broke in November, before the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Australian is yet to be convinced that both he and Red Bull can challenge for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles respectively, despite team-mate Max Verstappen already affirming his position at the Austrian team until the end of the 2020 season.

As he enters the final season of his contract, Ricciardo is wary that some poor performances in 2018 may make him seem less desirable to future partners, but he wishes to see what Red Bull can offer before committing to any paperwork.

“Yeah I’m aware as well that there’s always a risk,” Ricciardo said, whilst speaking to RACER.

“The longer you leave it, then if you’re not performing you’re looking less and less desirable race by race.”

However, he maintains that he will continue the impressive performances that have seen him claim five wins since his promotion from Scuderia Toro Rosso after the 2013 season.

“But that’s where I’ve obviously got confidence in my approach and what I’m going to do  and I’ve got confidence that I will be performing.”

“We’ll see what happens after the first little bit of the season.” 

The Perth racer is also aware of his age. Despite only standing at 28-years-old, Ricciardo knows that his time in the sport will become limited over the course of the next few years and is desperate to win motorsport’s top prize.

“Every year feels like a make or break I guess, but obviously each year that passes…” he said, leaving the statement open.

“The older you get, the more you’re like: OK, as opposed to when I had 10 years left in the sport now I’ve only got eight, or six, or four, or whatever.”

“So each year does tick by but as far as my performance side goes I’m not worried. It’s more that I want to be World Champion before I’ve got grey hair.”

Team Principal Christian Horner warned Ricciardo that Red Bull would not “wait around forever” last month.

“I think he’s at a stage in his career where he’s wanting to evaluate all of his options, which you can understand.” Horner said.

“The problem is we won’t wait around forever and we’ve got some very good options available to us, but our priority is to try and ensure we find a solution with Daniel.”