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'Under pressure' Ricciardo to start 2018 in waiting mode

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Despite Red Bull urging Daniel Ricciardo to engage in talks about his future, the Aussie says he'll weigh his options only after the season gets underway.

Red Bull Racing secured a three-year deal with Max Verstappen back in October, but the Milton Keynes-based outfit is nowhere near doing the same with the Dutchman's team mate.

Ricciardo feels his next call shall likely be the most important of his career, and in a bid to get it right he will patiently assess any potential offers, but only when he sees in action the teams interested in his services, namely Mercedes and Ferrari.

"I highly, highly doubt I will be signing any dotted lines over the next month," Ricciardo said.

"Unless I get a ridiculous offer, but probably not even. Because right now it is not about the offer it is about who is going to have the best car in 2019.

"So it is worth for me just seeing how the start of the year goes. I don’t want to be too clever and think I will have every option possible, but I have enough time on my side to still sit it out a little bit.

"Talking to Red Bull is easy because I know them already. The other two, if they are interested they will need to make the approach.
"I don’t want to come across as desperate. I know is that there is not really any merit in me doing it now.

"I don’t think I will leave it late next year, for sure I’d want to know something earlier but I don’t need to do it in the winter from what I understand."

As he plays his cards close to his chest, could Ricciardo run the risk of seeing his employer grow impatient? Red Bull's Christian Horner says that is a potential hazard hanging over his driver.

"I think Daniel knows what our strengths are and hopefully we’ll be in a reasonable position," Horner told Racer.

"I think he’s at a stage in his career where he’s wanting to evaluate all of his options, which you can understand.

"The problem is we won’t wait around forever and we’ve got some very good options available to us, but our priority is to try and ensure we find a solution with Daniel.

"I get the impression he’ll want to see relative engine performances next year. He’s had four years of frustration on that side of things, so I can understand him wanting to see how things are panning out."

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