Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists Daniel Ricciardo is “under contract” with the energy drinks giant’s parent outfit for the 2017 Formula One season.
Ricciardo’s name is bound to regularly surface on the rumour mill after 1980 F1 world champion Alan Jones said ahead of the Australian Grand Prix that Ferrari should poach the three-time grand prix winner to replace Kimi Raikkonen.
The 26-year-old was coy to address the topic when asked about the remarks in Melbourne, saying he was solely focussed on Red Bull for the moment and “not exactly out of contract either” at the end of the 2016 season.
“He’s under contract [for 2017], so I think he was pretty accurate with his comment,” Horner is quoted as saying by GPUpdate.net.
“Red Bull invests in these guys at a young age, they develop them and they give them the opportunity through the Red Bull Junior Team and Toro Rosso.
“Sebastian Vettel was a prime example of that, Daniel Ricciardo is doing an excellent job. Daniil Kvyat and the two exciting talents we have in Toro Rosso [Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz].
“The contractual situation we have with Daniel is extremely clear. How long? That’s confidential.”
Ricciardo’s name was already linked to Ferrari seat last year when rumours about Raikkonen’s future were in full swing. With the Finn only re-signed for one year, Maranello’s silly season is bound to open quite soon again.
Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel already said he would not mind partnering Ricciardo again, despite the Aussie outshining the four-time world champion when they teamed up together at Red Bull in 2014.
Scene at the Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix – Quotes of the weekend
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