Daniel Ricciardo should focus on beating teammate Max Verstappen in 2018 rather than worrying about his Formula 1 future beyond this year, according to former Red Bull driver Mark Webber

Ricciardo’s current deal with the Milton Keynes outfit is set to expire at the end of this season, and with potential drives at both Mercedes and Ferrari opening up for 2019, the Australian is keen to keep his options open. 

However, Webber, who raced for Red Bull between 2007 and 2013, reckons Ricciardo should be solely focused on beating his current teammate. 

"I think the best thing he can do is beat Max,” Webber told Fox Sports Australia. "Which he knows, and he's going to do his best to do that.

“He wants to try and have a crack at that for five or six months, then look at the options. I don't think Mercedes will be rushing to make a decision either; they're going to keep a good eye on Valtteri [Bottas] and see how he's performing, probably until Canada. That's like dog's balls - everyone can see that coming.

"There's an obvious link - they're both out of contract, he's a top-flight driver, and there's a chance for a switch. But if he's beating Max and Red Bull are flying again, why would he leave? 

“At the end of the day, I don't think Dan's too bothered what colour the car is. He just wants to win. That's what he's aiming to do, and it's hard to win consistently. They don't hand them out. He's totally capable of it, but he's just got to find himself in a position where he can get that opportunity.”

In 2017 Verstappen signed a new “watertight” contract to remain at the team until at least 2020, with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggesting the Dutchman could now build the team around him. But Webber, who endured a tense relationship with Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, does not think the team will favour one driver over another. 

"Red Bull will support the guy that's leading the championship and doing the business," added Webber. If that's Daniel, I reckon he's still in great shape there, to be honest. Because he is a Red Bull product.

"I don't think Helmut would be disappointed to see Daniel as World Champion, but he loves Max as well. They're both his favourite guys. And where does Carlos [Sainz] fit in all of that? He loves Carlos as well. That's a question for Helmut."