Ricciardo holds "a few cards" in Red Bull contract talks

Daniel Ricciardo says he holds "a few cards" for his negotiations with Red Bull regarding a Formula 1 contract extension beyond 2018.

Ricciardo holds "a few cards" in Red Bull contract talks
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing on the drivers parade with Sombrero hat
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

His teammate Max Verstappen recently extended his contract to the end of 2020, with Red Bull making it clear its priority is to now lock down Ricciardo.

The Australian wants to wait until next season to make the call so he can assess Red Bull's performance and feels he is in a strong bargaining position.

This will be the first time Ricciardo will be free to negotiate a new contract, rather than Red Bull getting the final say, since he joined the outfit's junior programme.

"I won't change my [management] structure," said Ricciardo. "I've never had a big team around me. I've got my lawyer who helps me out with these things.

"Because I am out of contract next year and I do hold a few cards at least, I don't think I need to rush it but if [Red Bull boss] Christian [Horner] and [Red Bull motorsport advisor] Helmut [Marko] express interest in wanting to keep me then that's nice to hear.

"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. I still want to do it respectfully. I'll be open in discussions with them and won't keep any secrets.

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

"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."

Horner has said it is prepared to wait until the start of 2018 for Ricciardo to decide his F1 future, if that means it can retain him.

However, he knows that as Ricciardo is a free agent come the end of next season, Red Bull can not stop him signing for a rival F1 team.

Ricciardo said a factor in his decision-making process is the quality of his teammate.

He has said he would like to challenge Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the same car, while the four-time world champion is still in his prime, and also former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel, who is contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2020.

"[It is] not only to measure myself but I think it's an opportunity to keep learning," he said. "We'll see. It would be cool, but we'll see what happens. It won't be the deciding factor, but it will be a little tick."

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