CONTRACT TALKS: Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo, of Australia.
CONTRACT TALKS: Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo, of Australia. Paul Chiasson

Ricciardo and Red Bull close to new deal

AUSTRALIAN Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is reportedly close to signing a new deal with Red Bull.

Ricciardo, who will take on the Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan this weekend at the Grand Prix of Europe, looks set to extend his contract until 2018.

The 26-year-old from Perth has had a couple of run-ins with the Red Bull pit crew after mistakes cost him a win at Monaco and a higher place at last week’s Canadian GP.

He warned the team he could go elsewhere if things did not improve but it is understood Red Bull has now exercised its option on Ricciardo.

“The contract was always long-term and in a way it was always that length,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports News HQ.

“But it’s performance-based and obviously Helmut (Marko adviser to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz) and the team are happy with what I am doing and happy with me and Max (Verstappen) and want to keep us on board.”

Ricciardo has also been linked with Ferrari after speculation the Italian giant was set to drop Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the year.

But it seems Ricciardo is now settled at Red Bull.

“At the moment this looks like being the best place to be,” he said.

“If Mercedes don’t make changes there is nowhere else that looks that attractive.

“With the rules next year, I think it’s going to be a strong fit and l hope we can really fight for a title in 2017.”