Daniel Ricciardo has played down growing speculation he is being primed for a move to Ferrari for the 2019 F1 season, saying he isn’t even sure he is being courted by the <i>Scuderia</i>

Rumours in the Italian media have linked Ricciardo with having already signed a pre-agreement with Ferrari for 2019, in line with his current Red Bull deal coming to an end at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Coming in the week that saw Kimi Raikkonen’s deal extended by just a single year before being followed up by Sebastian Vettel penning a new agreement for 2018, 2019 and 2020, Ricciardo says he isn’t surprised to see Ferrari stay unchanged for another season.

“Once I saw that they had extended Kimi’s I was not surprised," Ricciardo said. "I knew that was a bit of insurance for Seb having Kimi there, I know he is comfortable with that. So once Kimi was signed I knew Seb would be on a few year deal.

“Look, at the same time, he is leading and they are in a really good position, so it was fairly obvious. The only other place he would have gone was Mercedes, and I think they are going to keep what they have by the looks of it.”

Discussing his own potential future at Ferrari, Ricciardo feels the ‘hype’ has been created elsewhere and though he doesn’t discount the potential of it happening, he isn’t sure he is on Ferrari’s radar anyway.

“We will see, I don’t know. When I do get asked the Ferrari question I feel it is more coming from fans or media but not necessary from Ferrari. Maybe people want to see it, some people, but the people that matter I am not really sure if they do. We will see.

“I don’t know, if I am really honest, knowing that nothing will probably happen anyway until 2019, it feels too far away to start thinking. But yeah we will see.”

Should Ricciardo join Ferrari it would see him become team-mate to Vettel once more having raced alongside one another at Red Bull in 2014. On that occasion the pair endured a fractious relationship as Ricciardo – in his first season with the team – out-performed his title winning counterpart.

It is widely assumed Vettel has a big say in whom his team-mate at Ferrari would be, meaning the team could instead overlook Ricciardo in favour of his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen instead.

 

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