Daniel Ricciardo’s team for the next season has been a hot topic of discussion off late with some people suggesting that he may move to Mercedes, while others are gunning for a move to Ferrari to replace veteran Raikkonen.
While nothing has been decided as of now, Red Bull motorsport boss, Dr. Helmut Marko had a very interesting thing to say. He was observing Marc Marquez’s F1 test at the Red Bull Ring yesterday and was accompanied by compatriot and Mercedes chairman, Niki Lauda.
At the post-race press conference, Lauda said, “Lewis (Hamilton) will sign. We only discuss details, not the money. It’s about promotion performances. Lewis stays safely with us, that will be solved.”
In reply to that, Marko stated, “I hope that finally gets signed. Because Ricciardo says that, as long as Hamilton is not yet contracted to Mercedes, he also does not want to sign. It is a bit strange.”
Lauda did not look too impressed and immediately shot back with a tongue-in-cheek reply. “Ricciardo blackmailed you with Hamilton, who has not yet signed. What Hamilton gets, he cannot get anyway. So, we have not made him an offer”, he commented.
Another deal which runs out at the end of the season for Red Bull is their contract with engine suppliers, Renault. Red Bull are not entirely convinced with the performances so far and are rumoured to be looking at other options- namely Honda.
When quizzed about that issue, Marko revealed that Red Bull had a certain timeline they’d like to follow. “We have an internal timetable that we want to have decisions on the engine and driver issues by the Austrian Grand Prix”, Marko said.
The Austrian Grand Prix is still a month away and so Red Bull have seemingly warded off any questions about driver or engine deals until then.