Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner has confirmed that his driver Daniel Ricciardo will not be joining former team mate Sebastian Vettel at Scuderia Ferrari in 2017 as the Australian is under contract to Red Bull until the end of next season.
Former world champion Alan Jones stated last week that he would like to see the highly rated Ricciardo replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2017.
Raikkonen’s contract with the Italian team is up at the end of this season and there is no option to renew at the moment, however the Iceman could remain at the team into 2017 should he have a strong year. Raikkonen was competitive at the season opening Australian Grand Prix at the weekend and looked to be on course to score a podium finish until a mechanical issue forced him to retire from the race.
Over the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Ricciardo who finished his home race in fourth place said that he would be keen to partner Vettel at Ferrari in the future which suggested he has a contract in place with Red Bull which Christian Horner has now confirmed:
He’s under contract [for 2017], so I think he was pretty accurate with his comment, 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 [to race in Formula 1 with] 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 Jr.)
When asked about the duration of Ricciardo’s contract, Horner refused to take the bate saying:
The contractual situation we have with Daniel is extremely clear. How long? That’s confidential.