Lewis Hamilton cannot see Daniel Ricciardo anywhere other than staying with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in 2019 despite the Australian stalling on signing a new contract with the Milton Keynes-based team.
Hamilton feels a move to his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team is highly unlikely as they are looking at retaining both the reigning World Champion and current team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Scuderia Ferrari could also field an unchanged line-up, particularly as Kimi Räikkönen is showing good form in 2018 against team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo, who took his seventh career victory on Sunday when he won the Monaco Grand Prix despite running for two-thirds of the race without a working MGU-K, is out of contract at the end of the current season, but for Hamilton he cannot see him anywhere else but Red Bull next year.
“I would imagine his future is there (Red Bull),” Hamilton is quoted as saying by Reuters. “He is one of the top drivers so I am sure there will be options for him.
“There’s only Ferrari and Mercedes that he could ever consider, but currently here (Mercedes) that’s unlikely. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
“I imagine Kimi’s going to want to continue (at Ferrari). Why not? He’s driving really well this year and he doesn’t seem to be ageing so I’m sure he’ll go for a little bit longer.”
Hamilton feels Ricciardo is currently the leading driver at Red Bull despite the presence of Max Verstappen, and that remaining at the team is a pretty good option for him to have.
“It’s important in a team that you are valued at what you are worth,” added Hamilton. “At the moment, he (Ricciardo) is pretty much the lead driver in that team, so it’s not a bad place to be.
“But he should definitely have a contract on his table and his options ready.”