Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Ricciardo says reports he has a deal with Ferrari for 2019 are untrue

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo said reports he has an arrangement in place to potentially join Ferrari for the 2019 F1 season are not true.

The Red Bull driver added he has not spoken to any rival teams, including Ferrari and Mercedes, about his contract for next year.

“I’ve only had talks with Red Bull,” said Ricciardo during today’s FIA press conference in Baku.

“Even already last year we’ve been pretty open with each other. I think through the media as well everyone’s aware they’re interested in keeping me, we’ve had some talks regarding that.

“Obviously I’m aware of other reports but there hasn’t been anything else so they’re not true, at least up until now, certainly not.”

Speaking in response to a question from RaceFans, Ricciardo said he will not allow the discussions around his future become a distraction from his 2018 campaign.

“I’ve got a small group around me [and] as far as the real negotiations go I’ve got a guy doing that for me. I’m obviously super-aware and invested in what I want and where I see myself but a far as the real, in-depth talks and all that it’s best for me not to really focus on that too much.”

Ricciardo explained why he isn’t ready to make a decision on his future yet.

“The real requirement is to try and put myself in a position to win a world title. It doesn’t mean where I am currently is not that place but I think that’s why I’m trying to take my time with it is because it’s still too early.

“Obviously we won last race, that was great. Realistically we need to win more than just once in the season to fight for a title so that’s why I’m going to take my time. That’s the priority for sure. The financials and all that is definitely behind that.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 40 comments on “Ricciardo says reports he has a deal with Ferrari for 2019 are untrue”

    1. Absolutely the right attitude. Unfortunately, it’s natural that these questions are going to follow him for the rest of the year, but in truth, it sounds as though he has his pick of the three top teams to drive for next year, which is a great position to be in.

      Sadly for Ricciardo, this is probably the worst year in recent memory for choosing which team is going to be the “horse to back” for the next few years.

      Mercedes is the obvious choice, but their dominance is clearly on the downturn and he’d likely partner Lewis Hamilton, who would be a fearsome and somewhat unknown opponent in terms of how they’d match up.

      Ferrari haven’t placed lower than 4th since 1981, so you can be sure you’ll be near to the top with them, but “near to” is already where Ricciardo is. Will they continue the upward trend and actually beat Mercedes, or fall back again. Their inconsistency could turn him off, as could the threat of Vettel as the established driver in the team; though that didn’t faze him at Red Bull.

      Red Bull seem to be edging towards backing Verstappen more, though Ricciardo knows he can beat him and is comfortable with the team. Could they move to Honda? Would Ricciardo be happy with that?

      So many unknowns coming up; I don’t envy his choice. If it was my decision, with a gun to my head, I’d go for Mercedes.

      1. @ben-n Hmmm, I don’t think I can agree with everything you’re saying, but I have been leaning toward the same sentiment as you in the end…Mercedes.

        I’m not sure he has his pick of the top 3 teams. That would mean to me that they would have already approached him to express their interest, Mercedes and Ferrari of course since RBR already has, and DR is denying that…although he may have to, at this early stage of the season.

        Wrt RBR and Max…to say ‘Ricciardo knows he can beat him’ is not supported by the evidence. In terms of pure performance Max beat DR handily last year, and this year Max is ahead 2 out of 3 in quali, picking up the trend from last year.

        I’m not convinced Mercedes is on enough of a downturn to prevent them from the titles again…we just have to see how the season unfolds for that.

        Ferrari? Well he is witnessing what they’re doing with KR this season, and that, one would think, might make him hesitant about going there.

        If I had to put money on it today I’d say he should be trying to replace VB. Mercedes is by no means out of it this season…could win the next 5 races straight, for all we know. I think Merc wants and needs a better driver than VB, and with DR there they’d have that, and DR would have a fair chance too, intitial teething time on the team aside. Also, even if Mercedes continues to seem to falter a bit, which I kind of doubt, DR would still have every reason to have all kinds of faith that they could rebound next year from a bit of a slump this year, if indeed the whole season sees that happen.

        1. Ignoring who has and hasn’t approached him; he’s certainly flirting with all three of them, so for arguments sake, I’ve assumed he can go where he likes.

          The comparison between Verstappen and Ricciardo is an interesting and complex one. I’d say Max is naturally quicker, has more potential and is more exciting to watch; but Ricciardo has an astonishing knack of being in the right place at the right time and nicking results. Certainly at this moment in time, Ricciardo is the more complete driver and over a season I’d back him to beat Verstappen, as was the case last year (I know points don’t paint the whole picture…).

          I agree that Mercedes downturn is being overestimated and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take both titles again. That said, the gap is getting tighter and tighter… can they keep it up?

          As for Ferrari; is the treatment of Raikkonen happening because Kimi is letting it happen? Ricciardo would absolutely not sign a contract that has written into it “Number Two”; therefore if he went to the Scuderia and was quicker than or on par with Vettel he’d be in a different position to Raikkonen.

          1. @ben-n Well said and fair comment.

            Wrt Ferrari, no I’m sure DR wouldn’t sign a number two’s contract, and I’m sure Kimi didn’t either. But they are treating him as such. And they are famous for that.

            You are right it is tough to say what would happen with DR at Ferrari, as in whether he could affect different treatment there than KR seems to be getting. I think some of what is going on at Ferrari comes from them assuming VB is not going to be taking many points away from LH, so they may feel they have to lean toward one rooster already, as LH is the natural rooster at Merc.

            I wonder if it might be safe to say that in fairness DR would start off on his hind foot as a newby at Ferrari, so depending on what the competition is doing, might have to take a back seat at least in his first year on the team. Not saying it would take DR all season, but just that if the first half sees him acclimating then he’s already behind. And if LH starts running away from the field, SV’s gonna be the man.

        2. In terms of pure performance Max beat DR handily last year, and this year Max is ahead 2 out of 3 in quali, picking up the trend from last year.

          Oh look, yet another person who thinks qualifying performance actually means anything. Pretty sure this year, same as last year, points are handed out on Sundays, not Saturdays.

          1. I don’t know how much of a “trend” there is either after only 3 races……

          2. @nick101
            Exactly. If that was the case, why even bother racing on Sunday? He “handily” ignores the fact that MV made at least 4 race wrecking mistakes in three weekends, this year alone. How does that performance measure up against DR? I’m not saying this performance gap will persist, but as usual, MV fanboys are blind to reality. Also in the “2-1 in quali”-comparison, hahah. Please boys, don’t mention the fact that in one of the two ‘defeats’, DR did not have a level playing field due to technical issues in FP3 up until 2 minutes before Q1.
            So far it’s 37-18 with DR having 1 DNF due to faulty material (and the aforementioned in FP3 in China) and MV having no tech probs at all (other than damaging the car by himself) and the stewards being very leniant towards him, to say the least (Ham, Vet).

      2. @ben-n
        I kind of agree with what you’re saying. It’s a difficult decision to choose a team right now. Red Bull could be on the upswing… Ferrari could also be genuine championship contenders for the next 4 seasons.. Mercedes are always the safest pair of hands in terms of title chances.

        Personally, I think it’s going to go down to either Ferrari or Mercedes, as Red Bull have too many unknowns with the switch to Honda power looming around. I think Mercedes will give him the exact same treatment as Hamilton when it comes to chasing his WDC dreams and that’s why it should be the best place for him if the offer comes in.

        1. @todfod Well said and I agree. In fact, I COUNT on Merc hiring a better driver to replace VB, as I truly believe the way they roll at Merc is to have the two very best drivers they can possibly get, and VB has been a stopgap measure when their hand was forced with Nico’s retiring. It is so much more honourable and respectful to the viewing audience for a team to take the tougher road for themselves, but the road that is far more enthralling for racers at heart and the hundreds of millions of viewers, to have gladiator vs gladiator action out there, even if it gives the team a small headache once in a while. Merc had signed up Nico for two more years of that kind of headache, so obviously true racing for them takes precedent over the one-rooster approach that robs us fans but gives themselves a little less strife.

          Put another way…who wouldn’t want to be in a Mercedes F1 car these days, if you’re a race car driver within or without F1?

          1. @robbie

            as I truly believe the way they roll at Merc is to have the two very best drivers they can possibly get

            I don’t think so. After Rosberg retired, they could have signed Fernando Alonso who was desperate to get that seat. They had the chance not only to sign a more capable driver than VB but also a more marketable driver who have always strong backings behind him.

            1. @tifoso1989, there were reports at the time suggesting that McLaren had made it absolutely clear to Mercedes that they were not going to release Alonso from his contract, no matter what Mercedes offered them in recompense.

              Irrespective of what Mercedes might have wanted to do, it seems that McLaren made sure that their contract with Alonso was so difficult to break that nobody would want to try and break it (in much the same way that Red Bull significantly tightened up their contracts with their drivers to prevent them from jumping ship in the way that Vettel did in the past – even now, Sainz Jr is still contracted to Red Bull and only being loaned to Renault).

            2. @tifoso1989 Anon beat me to it. What he said. And I don’t think anybody around here was pulling stronger for FA/LH than I.

            3. I think I also read that alonso himself said he was happy with mclaren, weird cause he was already quite close to retiring.

    2. He has beat Vettel before, many potential reasons but he has beat him. Hamilton would be an unknown but Button and Rosberg have scored more points over a year than him no matter the reasons so he must fancy he could replicate them. I think staying at Red Bull is down to Renault getting much better or Honda getting much much better if Red Bull were to swap to them. Right now based on how the season started Ferrari look the best option but this can easily change and he cannot drive for them until next year at the earliest.

    3. Many seem to think Max owned Dan last, but that wasn’t the case as I see it. Max did win quali but the average gap was quite low- 0.1 sec or lower I think.

      With these cars being so hard to overtake Max had the advantage….. and the fact Dan starts like Webber😐

      I am not sure but I think retirements were Max 6 and Dan 5??? Seeing Dan was over 25 points above Max I can’t see he had a bad year.

      That’s ok, this year Dan will have him. Max is the wunderkind, a great driver and I love watching him race. So if Dan can hold his own I guess he is not too bad either.

      1. Not sure about the .1 seconds because that to me would imply they started side by side a fair amount. Maybe that’s an average when one considers both drivers quali days, but I think if you just take the days Max outdid DR the average gap would be more than .1 sec.

        Suffice it to say I am one of those who thinks Max owned DR last year. Outqualified him 13-7, led him by double the amount of laps, and finished ahead of him 5-2 for the 7 times they both finished the race.

        Yeah Dan outpointed him due to the lottery that can happen when both drivers have unreliability, and given the categories where Max prevailed it would seem the unreliability was more harmful to Max when it happened. He was higher up the grid and lost more points, and in one or two cases that directly benefitted DR. With DR starting behind Max moreso, on average DR’s car issues didn’t ‘help’ Max as much as Max’s ‘helped’ DR outpoint him.

        So far, Max’s ragged performances aside at times, MV leads DR 2-1 in quali this season. DR won a race that once again saw him lingering in 6th, two spots back of Max, until Max handed DR positions with his attempt on the outside of LH. So that one was on Max, not on unreliability, but in general DR had no answer for Max ahead of him until extenuating circumstances arose.

        I think we’re already seeing Max outperform DR this season.

        1. It depends on how you define “outperform”. “Quicker than” does not, in my book, equate to “outperforming”. There’s no denying that Verstappen looks quicker than Ricciardo, but the inability to finish the job at this moment in time is a big problem. You can drive the best race of all time, but if you don’t cross the line it counts for nothing.

          I’m sure that Max will add a degree of caution to his already huge book of talents, but at this moment in time, his speed is being undone by his rashness.

          1. @ben-n True, and I am mindful of what you are saying when I use the term outperform. And I like that you are saying ‘at this time.’ It is such early days for Max and the kind of massive career he will likely have in F1. I think the last race might have been a turning point for Max. We’ll have to see of course, but Max also knows his season so far could have been better, not just the last race, so he knows pace is not his issue, and therefore he knows what he has to work on otherwise.

          2. @ben-n
            By no sensible definition can one hold that MV has outperformed DR. Don’t let yourself get tricked by reality twisting, aggressive propaganda machines.

        2. I think we’re already seeing Max outperform DR this season

          OMG! Three starts three failures. No I do not believe the foot wobble rubbish at all!!
          Verstappen is yet to prove he has the goods to be a WDC.
          There is no world championship for qualifying. Nor is there one for most hits one can make on the opposing drivers, this is not a smash up derby.
          To win a WDC you must accumulate points and to do that you must finish a race.
          Verstappen is quick no doubt, but he is ragged, untidy…..perhaps even reckless in his approach to overtaking. This has now been shown over the last three seasons. He can no longer hide behind the rookie / hey I’m only a kid label.
          Ricciardo has proven more than once that he is a smooth quick and intelligent driver. To try and say that he has some how been gifted wins is ludicrous. The pressure is on Verstappen to show he can actually drive a clean race and still be quick.
          Lets wait and see if that’s possible eh.

          1. @johnrkh Yeah he has been ragged but he is 2-1 in quali so far and on pace seems to be at least as solid as last year vs. DR, and I’m confident that over the season Max will prevail, and I think he has also perhaps turned a corner in his approach. He has way less experience even if no longer a rookie, and given that drivers far older can still say they are learning and ‘just drove their best race ever’ at 33, for example, then Max has massive potential.

            DR is no closer to proving he is WDC material than Max, as we have never seen him fighting for wins and a WDC, and thus racing throughout a season when the pressure is at it’s greatest mentally. And of course DR has been gifted wins. He said that himself in a round about way on the last podium when he called the races he wins the ‘exciting’ ones ie. cars falling away in front of him, or safety car related lottery type stuff.

            Oh I admit you still have to be in the vicinity to capitalize on the attrition of others, but let’s face it, the formula for success is not generally to lag behind and hope someone has issues, or hope for a safety car lottery, nor to be outqualified, and out lead by a much younger teammate, but still outpoint him through the luck of the draw. That is not a sustainable formula to success.

            1. Haha a lot of ifs buts and maybes there. But like I said lets wait and see.

          2. @johnrkh
            Astonishing, isn’t it? I truly believe that would MV crash in every single race this season, these fanboys will still tell and try to sell us that he’s outperforming DR. Even with DR winning every single race.

        3. @robbie

          I think we’re already seeing Max outperform DR this season.

          I see the inmates have been given access to the insane asylum computer for the day.

          Must remember to take your meds every morning!!

          1. I’d say if anything, we’ve still seen verstappen’s features this year, as in being very quick (outqualifying ricciardo so far) but also taking risks often, which sometimes doesn’t pay off, spinning in australia, closing the door too soon on hamilton in bahrain, attempting to pass hamilton on the outside in china and also the attempt on vettel, and also a mistake that cost him 2nd place on the grid in australia qualifying.

            But the brilliant side of verstappen has been there too, how he’d have qualified 2nd without a small mistake in australia, how he was quickly getting past cars when other drivers would’ve waited more turns and reached an also recovering hamilton in the early laps in bahrain and actually overtook him on a car that should be at least as quick as his, the start he got in china after which he was actually 3rd, so 3 places better than ricciardo, not 2, and ultimately despite his mistakes he was still very close to getting 2nd place (before penalty), I think if it weren’t for penalty he’d have passed both, but there was no point since he couldn’t put 10 sec between him and bottas.

            1. I think if it weren’t for penalty he’d have passed both, but there was no point since he couldn’t put 10 sec between him and bottas. – Hahaha

        4. Sonsofbeaches
          27th April 2018, 6:57

          More-or-less equal average means outdid by a lot = outdone by a lot
          Every split second drivers are making choices. Max is almost always more aggressive in those choices and so should be faster…when he doesn’t smack into something.

    4. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      26th April 2018, 16:14

      Really excited to see where Ricciardo does go next season. Should be very interesting.

      1. Shuffling the pack always goes down a treat, like when Hamilton moved to Mercedes, or Vettel to Ferrari.

        Ricciardo to either of the big teams will spark chaos for the rest of the field. If he went to Ferrari, Raikkonen would surely retire. If he went to Mercedes, it would almost certainly be to replace Bottas (though Brundle mentioned that it could be Hamilton…). Where could Bottas fit in? Williams again? Force India? He’s certainly too good to slide off the grid altogether.

        Who would Red Bull go for? Sainz is taking a beating from Hulkenberg… would they rather go for Gasly, or a left-field choice like Hulkenberg himself?

        1. Perhaps a DR/VB straight swap?

          1. An interesting one, but Bottas doesn’t “feel like” a Red Bull driver to me; which is a strange thing to say, but their drivers always have certain personalities. Young, exciting, fun. Even an older Webber had something extra about him.

            A strange, unquantifiable thing to say; but they look for someone who is “cool” as well as quick. Bottas just doesn’t do that for me.

            1. [Red Bull] look for someone who is “cool” as well as quick. Bottas just doesn’t do that for me.

              @ben-ncool can be interpreted in two ways in that context, so let me try and clarify what you’re saying :-)

              Red Bull looks for someone who’s “cool” in the marketable sense (which VB doesn’t seem to be), not in the Finnish unflappable “cool” sense (which he totally is).

    5. Nice compliment to even be considered by a Formula One team by after the Ferrari Kimi experiment Ferrari should be thinking about who replaces both drivers. Youth is the answer. Ricciardo is on the wrong end of the long term investment plan. Will Ferrari role the dice on a Leclerc or an a Ocon or who ??

    6. I think DR should not stay at RB. Ferrari and Mercedes are better options. I hope he goes to Ferrari and takes on Vettel again. Or go to Mercedes and wait for Lewis to retire… I don’t think he can beat Lewis in his first year at MERC. I have a feeling RB is going with Honda engines soon and may struggle for a bit.

    7. Pre Contracts are a very common practise in Ferrari BTW and in many times it didn’t translate to a deal. It’s rumored that Daniel has some sort of an ultimatum which ends in June the 30th. If he wants to join Ferrari he has to decide prior to that date. Hulkenberg did have a pre-contract with Ferrari to race for the team in 2014 but in the end the deal wasn’t concluded and Ferrari opted for Raikkonen.

    8. He is the hottest avaliable driving property, unless Alonso becomes.available, or Rosberg comes back.

      He is in a nice pickle. Red Bull need him, but probably don’t deserve him, Ferrari want him but Vettel might not, Mercedes seem perfect.

      1. Vettel keeps saying every article he’s ok with ricciardo as team mate!

    9. Strategically speaking, I think he’s in a helluva conundrum: the best place for him to take the shot at the WDC is RBR, since he’s clearly capable of beating Verstappen in the standings.

      However, RBR is yet shy of the shot SF and MAMG are having. And tbh, I don’t believe they’ll be that sharp anytime soon.

      That said, best bet would be wearing red or silver. Problem is, I don’t believe he could beat Vettel or Hamilton for the title on any day. Not in a straight fight.

      Good thing that he’s not afraid, he’s a true racer after all.

    10. I’m amused that everyone says Bottas isn’t good enough for Mercedes – who is beating whom in the intra team standings at Mercedes right now?

      It’s still my opinion that Dan may end up doing a Hamilton and electing to join a manufacturer team that has the resources and desire to get to the top as that doesn’t necessarily mean Mercedes, Ferrari or RBR. How many thought Hamilton was crazy whe he left Mclaren for Merc? Would it be just as crazy to leave RBR to lead Renault?

      1. It’s an interesting thought, as mercedes improved gradually and renault is doing that too, but ricciardo doesn’t have a lot of time.

        Here we’re talking about catching 3 teams that are on another planet compared to renault and others, that’s a lot.

        Becoming a dominant force while those 3 just stand there looking sounds unrealistic.

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