Aussie urged to stay at Red Bull
DANIEL Ricciardo has been urged to resist the lure of a dreamteam pairing alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and instead fight for world championships with Red Bull.
Aussie Ricciardo, who is out of contract with the Milton Keynes outfit at the end of the season, delivered an overtaking masterclass to win in China on Sunday and stamp his authority on this season’s title fight.
Valtteri Bottas is on only a one-year deal at Mercedes, and Ricciardo, 28, has made no secret of wanting to team up with Hamilton during his career. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is also on the record as being a huge admirer of the Australian.
Ferrari could also be an option for Ricciardo in 2019 with Kimi Raikkonen’s future in doubt.
However, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has not only called on Ricciardo to stay put, but questioned why he would want to leave a team seemingly heading on an upward trajectory.
“Daniel is happy in our environment so if we can provide a car like we did in China, then why would he want to be anywhere else?” Horner said.
“We have a very quick car which we have demonstrated.
“Daniel is a very rounded driver and he is absolutely at the top of his game and has been for the last couple of years.”
There were some contrasting fortunes on the opposing side of the Red Bull garage in Shanghai after Max Verstappen’s aggressive driving prompted further criticism.
Verstappen ran off the road in his pursuit of Hamilton and then hit Sebastian Vettel.
Mercedes’ non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, has led the calls for Verstappen, 20, to address his tactics following two high-profile collisions in as many grands prix.