Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo says he is aiming to have his 2019 plans announced before the F1 summer break in August.
Ricciardo is without a contract for 2019, with his current Red Bull deal expiring at the end of the current season. The team are keen to hang onto their Australian star but, with other teams also having potentially available seats, Ricciardo is yet to commit to the team as he assesses their competitiveness.
Red Bull recently signed an engine deal with Honda, a move away from Renault after more than 10 years and, with Honda not yet proven as a fully competitive supplier, Ricciardo says he now is fully aware of what he is signing up should he stick with his current team: “Obviously with Red Bull they’ve committed to
Honda, so they’ve kind of got all the cards on the table, so I know what I’m getting there, and things
are starting to get to a point where I know what’s what and hopefully I’ll have something soon for
Asked about whether he’s on the menu for other teams, he replied: “Of course there has been a bit interest. Personally, I want to get something done, ideally before the summer break. More from a personal point of view. I want to go on break with as clear mind, so it feels like a break. I think it was a few years ago when I was making the transition from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, that all happened during the break and it wasn’t a fun August break for me, so just from that I would like to get something done.”
Ricciardo is one of the hottest properties on the driver market this year, particularly in the wake of his dominant Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Understood to be paid considerably less than his less experienced teammate Max Verstappen, he was asked about whether he is fighting for parity in his Red Bull deal: “I guess what I chose to negotiate is confidential, I guess. One thing I will say is that this year, obviously since I’ve been with the team, but this year the results have showed and having a couple of wins and again Monaco makes me smile when I just say that but it was a big achievement for me, especially after what happened a couple of years ago. There’s been some important boxes which I feel I’ve ticked this year which obviously can help me out in discussions and moving forward with my career so yeah, but I guess financial stuff, I’ll keep behind the closed doors. But yeah, I’m happy with where I’m at and with what I feel I can bring to the table.”