Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he has no concern about any crisis of confidence from Daniel Ricciardo after being hit by back-to-back retirements and the news of Max Verstappen’s re-signing.

Ricciardo’s 2017 campaign has somewhat stalled in the Americas flyaway races with two mechanical retirements while he struggled for pace in Mexico compared to race winner Verstappen. Coupled with the news of Verstappen’s new Red Bull contract to keep him at the team until at least the end of 2020, Ricciardo is one of the biggest names on the grid without his future settled beyond 2018.

The Australian driver has been linked with a potential Ferrari switch and while Horner is confident he won’t need to rush into any contract negotiations he doesn’t believe this recent dip in form will cause any long-lasting problems.

“Ricciardo has been around long enough to know and he was making hay while the sun shone earlier in the year when all the poor reliability was going on at the other side of the garage,” Horner said.

“We’re heading into year five of a five-year agreement with Daniel and he’s been with Red Bull for pretty much ten years now. I think as his character has developed and his personality has come across, he’s seen the fit between Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull.

“He sees the capability that we have within the team and I think he’s very happy within the team. The next move that he makes at 28 years of age is a very important one for him, so of course he is going to take the time to make sure the decision is right for him.

“He knows the intention very clearly, and I’ve discussed it with him, is that we want him within the team. If that takes another six months then so be it.”

Ricciardo stepped up to Red Bull from Toro Rosso in 2014, winning three races in his maiden F1 campaign with the team, and has outperformed his team-mate in every season except for 2015, missing out by three points to Daniil Kvyat.

 

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