Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has admitted that it is “unlikely” that his team is one of Daniel Ricciardo’s 2019 options.
Ricciardo won Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, but is out of contract at the end of the season. The silly season rumours have linked him with moves to Mercedes and Ferrari.
But Hamilton believes that Ricciardo was destined to stay at Red Bull.
“There is only Ferrari and Mercedes he could consider – but it is unlikely he is coming here,” he added.
“I don’t think that is going to happen.”
Hamilton himself and team-mate Valtteri Bottas are both out of contract at the end of this season. However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that it is only a matter of time before a new contract for the Briton is concluded. Meanwhile Wolff wants to wait until mid-summer before making a call on the second driver.
His options are to keep Bottas or go for either Ricciardo or Force India’s Esteban Ocon, a Mercedes young driver.
Red Bull have expressed their desire to keep Ricciardo but the Australian wants to wait until the summer before making a decision.
Lewis Hamilton said: “He is one of the top drivers and so I am sure there will be offers.
“At Ferrari I would imagine Kimi is going to want to continue and why not? He is driving really well this year and he doesn’t seem to be ageing. So I am sure he will go for a little longer.
“At the moment, [Ricciardo] is pretty much the lead driver in that team so it’s not a bad place to be.
“If at some stage Red Bull get an engine [closer in performance to Mercedes and Ferrari], they are going to be even closer to us. They could win many more races and he just has to keep his head down and keep doing what he’s doing and he should have his options ready.”