Ricciardo rubbishes Ferrari pre-contract rumours

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Ricciardo rubbishes Ferrari pre-contract rumours
Jonathan Noble
By: Jonathan Noble
Apr 26, 2018, 12:19 PM

Daniel Ricciardo has rubbished suggestions that he has signed a pre-contract option with Ferrari, as he insisted that he has so far only spoken to Red Bull about his Formula 1 future.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing in the Press Conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 in the Press Conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 in the Press Conference
Podium: race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, second place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1, third place Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Helmut Markko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, congratulates race winner Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing

The Australian's strong start to the campaign has thrust the Chinese GP winner into the centre of the 2019 driver market situation, with rivals Ferrari and Mercedes both options for him.

But after recent reports claiming that he had signed some form of pre-contract option with Ferrari to exclusively only deal with them for a set period, Ricciardo has categorically stated that is not the case.

"That is not true. I can say that," he said in Baku.

Despite the possibilities that are on offer for next year, with his Red Bull contract up at the end of this season, Ricciardo is clear that so far discussions have only taken place with his current bosses.

"I've only had talks with Red Bull," he said. "Even already last year we have been pretty open with each other and through the media as well they say they are interested in keeping me. We have had some talks regarding this.

"I am aware of other reports, but there hasn't been anything else. They are not true. At least not up until now. Certainly not."

Ricciardo is clear that he wants to get himself into a car in 2019 that he can win the championship with.

And following suggestions that Ferrari appears focused solely around Sebastian Vettel, judging by the strategy it put Kimi Raikkonen on in China, Ricciardo says that he will not accept playing second fiddle to anyone else.

"These are certainly things I would, wherever I may be or go, I would always make sure there was some clarity," he said.

"I wouldn't want to go somewhere where I didn't feel I had a chance. At the moment what I am chasing, to try to be world champion, it is my goal and dream and something I really believe I am capable of.

"If someone said, 'we will let you here but you can't do this', that is not an attractive option to me. Is that the case somewhere? I honestly don't know what is going on with other teams.

"At Red Bull there has always been really good clarity and fairness since 2014, since I have been there, so that has been certainly a nice environment and I would expect that environment everywhere."

Ricciardo reckoned that the summer break was likely the time when he would make a call on what he was doing in 2019.

"For sure, the summer seems fine," he said. "I guess I don't really fear not having a seat next year so I don't feel I need to sign something tomorrow or I have nothing.

"So for that reason I feel I can wait until the summer...I don't feel I need to push anything until then."

When asked by Motorsport.com if the curiosity to see what life was like at another team would get the better of him, Ricciardo said: "I don't know. I think the curiosity will not overcome the facts, in terms of what options I will have and which car is ultimately the fastest, that is really the top of my list.

"I wouldn't just go somewhere else for a change. If I did move on, I would make sure I felt it was potentially better, that is all."

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