Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says despite Daniel Ricciardo being out of contract at the end of next year he is determined to see the Australian driver and team-mate Max Verstappen remain as its driver line-up “until 2020.”

Ricciardo’s current Red Bull contract expires at the end of 2018 along with the majority of F1 drivers apart from Sebastian Vettel who recently re-signed with Ferrrari to stay at the team until the end of 2020.

As a result a potential F1 driver market shake-up could be triggered, with Verstappen believed to be on a similar deal to Ricciardo, but Red Bull boss is determined to see both drivers stay beyond next season.

“Ricciardo is technically out of contract at the end of the 2018 season as he would have completed a five-year contract,” Horner said. “What is absolutely clear is our intention to retain both of our drivers until 2020.”

Carlos Sainz Jr has been loaned out to Renault for 2018 but tied to his Red Bull contract to give the team a back-up option in case either Ricciardo or Verstappen sought to leave the team, but Horner is content with his current driver line-up which he is convinced of keeping if the Milton Keynes-based squad can produce a title-contending car for next season.

“With Carlos I wanted to keep under contract as an option should one of the drivers past year next not be with us,” he said. “The absolute intention is we want Verstappen and Ricciardo in Red Bull Racing cars going forward.

“I think they both enjoy being in the team and the difference with Daniel is for the first time in his career at Red Bull he has got an insight into his contract. Helmut [Marko] likes to state the obvious which is that he is on the open market but it doesn’t mean that we don’t want him.”


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