Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
Sport | By

Huge McLaren offer for Ricciardo

Huge McLaren offer for Ricciardo

I've said with Red Bull, I'm also careful not to, just from a personal point of view, burn and bridges because you never know where the sport will take you. If he does go, they'll probably want a more experienced driver to come in, but we'll see. I didn't really believe then I was good enough.

Whereas, with McLaren, Honda have been on a downward spiral that might or might not be brought to a halt after being coupled with the Red Bull chassis and engineers.

"There's certainty a lot of pros". He is going so well but Vettel kind of owns the driving seats at Ferrari, Hamilton at Mercedes and, it seems, Verstappen at Red Bull.

A report in Germany's Sport Bild, which contained quotes from Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko, claimed Ricciardo had been offered a $20m-a-year contract to jump ship to McLaren when his contract expires at the end of the season. Despite constant reliability issues, Renault paired with Red Bull have proved to be the third best engine suppliers and constructors on the grid.

Insisting once again that he has not spoken to either Ferrari or Mercedes, he grinned when asked if his management has. And then there's the rest of the grid, many of which would nearly certainly be interested in gaining the signature of one driver other than Vettel or Hamilton to have secured victory (twice) in 2018.

The Australian, 28, is out of contract at the end of this year, with seats potentially open at top teams Mercedes and Ferrari next season. I'm not going to say it doesn't interest me at all. Both Mercedes drivers of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Ferrrai's Kimi Räikkönen all have their deals ending at the end of the year.

"And I know that, if you're saying those two teams, they're not quite in that position yet - but could they be?" But could they be?

"The thought of that, it has some appeal".

"I'm not going to say it doesn't interest me at all", he added. But I wouldn't dismiss it also.

"Lewis pulled the trigger pretty well", Ricciardo joked.

"Obviously he's done well for himself with that move".

"Probably in the next two weeks would be ideal for them", he told reporters during his opening media session of the weekend in France.

"Above all, some people in Mercedes would absolutely want Ricciardo to join them in the team, but he doesn't want to sign until Hamilton has signed", Marko said. I wouldn't say it's top of my list now. "Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days".

"For me personally, I think it would be nice to go on the summer (August) break knowing what I'm doing, so then I can actually enjoy (it)". So whether it's just a fantasy for everyone else, I don't know. "It could happen sooner".

The move (or not move) - whether it is to McLaren, another rival team or indeed Ricciardo stays at Red Bull - is expected to be announced within the next two weeks as Red Bull and Honda look to get their plans for 2019 in order sooner rather than later.

Ricciardo had previously been quoted as saying that he wanted to be in a auto "that can win the world title", leading to reports linking him to teams that are competitive in every race such as Mercedes and Ferrari. To add to that, Fernando Alonso is not known to be the easiest teammate, and according to Daniel himself, he would not be joining a team to become someone's bridesmaid, given that the comment applies to all and not just Sebastian Vettel.

The announcement is sure to put more pressure on the Aussie to speed things up on what he'll be doing next year, and hopefully it's driving a Formula 1 auto.

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