After a stunning, and perhaps a rather fortuitous drive from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, the media is awash this week with speculation – Ricciardo beating Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen at the Chinese Grand Prix has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of where the Australian might go next.
The Australian is still out of contract at the end of the 2018 season and last weekend’s victory will have no doubt added some value onto his price tag.
Sky sports’ Martin Brundle has already kicked off the debate and given the tabloids a few headlines with his predictions –
“Let me throw this outrageous curveball. Hamilton doesn’t seem particularly happy at the moment, and I can imagine he will be super expensive to hire for his next Merc contract too. If that isn’t already signed, would Mercedes go for the four-and-a-half-year younger Ricciardo instead?”
So Ricciardo replacing Hamilton? It’s possible if rather improbable.
Could a move to Ferrari be on the cards? Again, Brundle puts that out there speculating that “Kimi feels unloved and unlucky at Ferrari at the moment”, and certainly he won’t be at Ferrari for yet another season?
Nico Rosberg suggests that “If I were him, I would go to Ferrari. He knows he can beat Sebastian and Ferrari has the best car right now. ” referring to the 2014 Red Bull pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and previous 4 time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo blew the German away in the team battle, even winning races in a hugely unreliable Renault powered Red Bull at the time when Mercedes dominance began. Ricciardo beating Vettel at Red Bull might be a double edged sword however.
Right now, perhaps actually the best bet is for a 1 year extension to Red Bull, assuming they carry on with Renault for 2019. Red Bull seems to be on the resurgence with decent race pace early on this season, Mercedes are in no mans land with their ‘Star’ driver not in a happy place, whilst Ferrari are unlikely to go against Vettel who at this stage wouldn’t want Ricciardo back in his team. Add to this Verstappen’s penchant at shooting himself in the foot with silly driver errors, perhaps his best off where he is.
Where do you think Ricciardo should go for 2019? Give your reasons in the comments below.
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