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Ricciardo is 'in no rush' to hold contract talks

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Contract

Daniel Ricciardo says that he holds "a few cards" when it comes to negotiating a new contract with Red Bull Racing, and that he's in no rush to conclude a deal.

The Australian's current contract expires at the end of next season. His team mate Max Verstappen has already extended his own contract with the team to 2020.

Ricciardo was stung by recent comments from within Red Bull that the team should shape itself around the younger driver long term. That seemed to suggest the Australian was superfluos to requirements.

But the 28-year-old believes that he holds the upper hand when it comes to determining his future at Milton Keyes.

"I am out of contract next year and I do hold a few cards at least," said Ricciardo. "I don't think I need to rush it."

He said much would depend on the attitude of team principle Christian Horner and motorsports consultant Dr Helmut Marko.

"If Christian and Helmut express interest in wanting to keep me then that's nice to hear," he said. "It's better than them saying, 'We can't wait for Ricciardo to leave!'

"It's the first time we've been in this position so I want to make the most of it," he added. "I still want to do it respectfully.

"I'll be open in discussions with them and won't keep any secrets."

Ricciardo insisted that the negotiations wouldn't simply focus on the financial side. He wants to be assured that he'll be fighting for race wins and titles in the future.

"I have got power to negotiate financial things as well but the first box I want to tick is performance," he said.

"I'm still definitely competitive enough to chase the faster car and not the bigger bucks. I'm not at that end of my career."

For that reason, Ricciardo has ruled out a move to Ferrari if it means being a 'bridesmaid' to his former Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel. However, he would consider any offers from Maranello if he were given equal status.

He's also spoken positively about the possibility of partnering Lewis hamilton at Mercedes in the future.

Mercedes recently extended the contract of Valtteri Bottas for 2018. It means both he and Ricciardo are free agents at the same time, suggesting that a switch to the world championship team is one of the cards that Ricciardo is eager to keep up his sleeve for now.

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