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Ricciardo aiming to decide on 2019 seat before summer break

NEWS STORY
21/06/2018

Daniel Ricciardo admitted to reporters in Le Castellet this morning that he would like to have made his decision on who he will race for next season by the summer break, which gets underway at the end of next month.

Red Bull has made no secret of the fact that it wants to retain him, however, other than a fear that Max Verstappen is the Austrian team's focus, the Australian will be wondering whether the team has made the right move in switching from Renault to Honda power.

Though linked with both Mercedes and Ferrari, the Australian claims not to have spoken to either team, while overnight the German media claimed that McLaren is seeking to secure the popular Australian's services.

"It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing," said Ricciardo as the French Grand Prix weekend got underway.

"Everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams," he added.

Insisting once again that he has not spoken to either Ferrari or Mercedes, he grinned when asked if his management has.

"People talk, have coffees," he laughed, "I will leave that one open-ended.

"For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title," he continued, "because I really believe I can. I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

"People like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me," he added. "I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship."

Asked about Red Bull's decision to change engine supplier, Ricciardo admitted he still trying to decide if it was a good move.

Nonetheless, with Red Bull having finalised its engine plans for 2019 it will now want to confirm its driver line-up, which puts the onus on the Australian.

"I haven't been pushed yet," he admitted, "but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week. Whether that is something that gets put down on paper... for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days."

While few are giving the McLaren bid much credence, the move has similarities to that which saw Lewis Hamilton controversially move to Mercedes in 2013.

Asked if a similar leap into the unknown was possible, Ricciardo once again smiled: "I'm not going to say 'no, it doesn't interest me at all'," he said. "Probably more because of what Lewis was able to do with Mercedes.

"I know that, if you're saying those two teams, they're not quite in that position yet," he added, referring to McLaren and Renault, "but could they be? Maybe.

"The thought of that, it has some appeal," he admitted. "I wouldn't say it's probably top of my list right now, but I wouldn't dismiss it. Obviously McLaren and Renault aren't there today, but maybe they will be there in a year or three years' time."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.

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