Ricciardo: Further wins would influence contract decision
If anyone has the right to use the term “roller-coaster” in terms of their recent endeavours, it’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Sidelined by an engine electrics issue after just one lap in Bahrain, there was further gloom when he suffered a turbo failure in final practice in China a week later.
However, a combination of sterling work by his crew, the over enthusiasm of Pierre Gasly, canny strategy, more brilliant work from his crew in terms of pit stops and ‘balls-out’ derring-do racing, the Australian went on to win an entertaining Chinese Grand Prix.
As attention turns to Azerbaijan – when he scored another surprise win last season – Ricciardo must start looking even further ahead, to where he will drive in 2019 and beyond.
Though Red Bull is keen to keep him, uncertainty over its engine plans for 2019 and beyond, not to mention a perceived favouritism towards Max Verstappen, the young Australian is considering all options.
However, talking to Australia’s Channel 10’s The Project, Ricciardo admits that if the Austrian team can win more races he is likely to stay put.
“I definitely want to be with the best car,” he said. “I think the weekend proved that if I’ve got the opportunity to win I can pull it off. I can handle that pressure and that intensity.
“If we can win a few more with Red Bull now then that looks very attractive,” he added. “If not, then I guess there are probably other options.”
Asked if it all depends on Red Bull not merely being part of the top three but a regular presence on the podium, he admitted: “Yeah. I said it from the start. The win helps, but if we were finishing sixth every race this year then that is not the most attractive option to me.”
With a view to the fact that Mercedes has yet to win a race this year and China marked the first time the German outfit was beaten in three successive races since the introduction of the hybrid formula, when asked if he thinks he might be in a position to fight for the title, he said: “I think it’s too early to say yes, simply because we won at the weekend.
“We need to win regularly to kind of show that,” he added. “But if we come out and win again in two weeks in Baku then I would probably say yes.”
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April 17, 2018 at 07:23PM