Daniel Ricciardo says he is not willing to commit to a new Red Bull contract yet because he wants to work out which team will be most competitive in 2019.
The Australian’s current contract expires at the end of next season and talks have yet to take place regarding an extension despite teammate Max Verstappen signing until the end of 2020. Ricciardo says he doesn’t expect to make a decision over the winter as he wants to see how next season shapes up in order to make an informed decision.
“I won’t be sorting it out as far as I highly, highly doubt I will be signing any dotted lines over the next month,” Ricciardo said. “Unless I get a ridiculous offer, but probably not even then. Because right now it is not about the offer, it is about who is going to have the best car in 2019.
“So it is worth me just seeing how the start of the year goes. I don’t want to be too clever and think I will have every option possible, but I have enough time on my side to still sit it out a little bit.
“Talking to Red Bull is easy because I know them already. The other two [Mercedes and Ferrari], if they are interested they will need to make the approach. I don’t want to come across as desperate. It doesn’t work with the ladies either!”
And after qualifying fourth in Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo is confident his driving will not be affected while his future remains undecided.
“Today I drove all right… but no, it doesn’t [impact on driving]. I think it would if I didn’t want to drive, if you know what I mean. I would like to think there are still some offers, even though I am out of contract there is still some demand, whether it is from Red Bull or others. I know Red Bull is certainly keen, at least from the initial talks we’ve had.
“Obviously the longer I leave it then I need to make sure I am performing well into next year to still be desirable. If anything, I am confident I can get better. This year was at times challenging but I definitely feel I have come on. Every year you get better, you grow, so I have continued with that.”