Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he has been prohibited from testing with his 2019 employers in the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season, with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing insisting the Australian is still under contract with them for the time being.
Ricciardo made the shock decision earlier this year to switch from Red Bull to the Renault Sport Formula One Team for next season, and the Enstone-based squad had enquired to see whether he would be able to test with them at the Yas Marina Circuit at the end of the year.
However, Red Bull have declined to release Ricciardo early so he will not be testing at all in Abu Dhabi, not for Renault nor for his current employers.
“I’m not allowed to test,” Ricciardo is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I can’t drive for Red Bull and they won’t let me drive for Renault.
“So it is okay. I can have a holiday.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the decision to prevent Ricciardo running with Renault is purely down to his current contract and his remaining obligations with his current employers.
“He’s under contract past that date, so he won’t be doing the test,” said Horner to Motorsport.com. “There was a question, ‘Is he available?’ It’s very clear that he’s not, so it’s very simple.
“They just asked what his availability was, and he’s not available. He’s still got obligations to tidy up until the end of his contract.”
Current drivers who are expected to run with their new teams include Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc, who will likely test with Red Bull and Scuderia Ferrari respectively, while George Russell is expected to be given a first test outing with Williams Martini Racing after being announced to race for the Grove-based squad in 2018.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team will be looking to get Kimi Räikkönen some seat time ahead of his move to the team in 2019, while his new team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi will also likely be in Abu Dhabi, as will McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris and Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda’s Daniil Kvyat.