Earlier, it had been reported that Daniel Ricciardo had received a big offer from McLaren for 2019. However, the Australian has denied the monetary aspect of the rumour. In reality, he is aware that outside parties are interested in him. But, he expects to stay at Red Bull in the near future.
Sources say that Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, claimed Ricciardo had been offered $20m-a-year to jump ship to McLaren.
At the Circuit Paul Ricard for the Grand Prix weekend, the Australian gave his response. Ricciardo joked “that’s not enough!” before continuing: “I did see it [the story] about an hour ago now.
“I haven’t been presented anything which says that.
“But, I’ll be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari for potential places for me to go, but I’m aware there’s probably going to be interest from other teams and I guess McLaren is probably one of them.
“It probably depends as well on what Fernando [Alonso] does, if he stays or if he goes. If he does go, they’ll probably want a more experienced driver to come in, but we’ll see. There are a lot of things to weigh up right now, but nothing really further to comment on that.”
Ricciardo is likely to stay loyal to Red Bull for 2019. He admitted that the team’s management are likely to push on with contract renewal talks. The main barrier was the Honda engine deal, but now that that’s out of the way, things can proceed smoothly.
“For sure they want to start to move soon now,” confirmed Ricciardo.
“I haven’t been pushed yet but I would say there will be a bit of movement, probably in the next week.
“Whether that’s something gets put down on paper, but the discussions will start to ramp up now in the next seven days. Obviously Austria next week and then it’s Silverstone, two home grands prix, so we’ll see what happens.”
Red Bull have Max Verstappen under contract for two more seasons, but are keen to keep Ricciardo alongside him. The 28-year old Australian has two race wins under his belt already. This has put him within an outside chance world title contention.
He admitted that he preferred to know where he was driving next season before F1’s summer break.
“Now that the team has got the engine deal sorted, ideally they’d want something sooner rather than later. Probably in the next two weeks would be ideal for them,” he added.
“For me personally, it would be nice to at least go on the summer break knowing what I’m doing so I can enjoy the summer break.
“If I’m on the phone for two weeks of the August break trying to figure out my future that probably won’t be that good. Just for me to kind of switch of as well. So, from a personal point of view, by the summer would definitely be nice. It could happen sooner, but by then I’d like to know.”