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Ricciardo admits Ferrari and Mercedes no longer options for 2019

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Daniel Ricciardo says he is closing in on a new Red Bull contract now that it has become clear Mercedes and Ferrari will not offer him a deal for 2019.

After spending all of his F1 career to date under the Red Bull driver programme, Ricciardo is out of contract at the end of this season.

At the start of the year he was linked with Ferrari but it is now looking increasingly likely that the Italian team will choose Sauber driver Charles Leclerc to partner Sebastian Vettel in 2019. Mercedes was also rumoured as a potential destination for Ricciardo, but Valtteri Bottas is expected to be retained once Lewis Hamilton completes a new deal with the team in the coming weeks.

As a result, Ricciardo says his options are limited and admits Red Bull looks like his best option.

“Not every door is closed, but it’s looking more and more likely that the other top teams will probably remain with their line ups,” he said. “I don’t have the facts on that but you can just kind of read between the lines and you feel that that is probably going to remain.

“So obviously if it wasn’t Red Bull then they are the other two most attractive options, so if they are not possible, then for me now it is hard to be convinced that another option is better than Red Bull. So I’m just making sure that I’m right with my judgments.”

Asked if he wanted No.1 status over teammate Max Verstappen in order to sign a new contract, Ricciardo added: “I don’t want that. Not that I don’t want that, I don’t need that.

“Obviously Max is driving well, but I genuinely think, there have been things every weekend since Monaco, which have just been a bit of a disruption or a bit of bad luck — like the front wing and all that with Paul Ricard, and the DRS at Silverstone.”



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