Lewis Hamilton believes it is “unlikely” Daniel Ricciardo become his Formula 1 teammate at Mercedes in 2019 as the current Red Bull driver considers his next career move.

Ricciardo took a dominant victory in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with Hamilton finishing third.

With less than seven months to run on his existing Red Bull deal, the Australian has been linked with drives at both Ferrari and Mercedes for 2019, replacing either Kimi Raikkonen or Valtteri Bottas at the respective teams.

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Hamilton was full of praise for Ricciardo after the race, but said he thought it unlikely they would become teammates at Mercedes next year.

“I was only actually told today I think it’s his eighth season, so he’s had a relatively long time, also yet he’s still quite young. He’s doing a solid, solid job,” Hamilton said.

“Ultimately he’s got a teammate [Max Verstappen] that from what I hear is making a lot more money than him, yet he’s more consistent, keeping the car together a lot more and more often than not pulling through. So It’s important in the team to always feel you’re valued or at your worth and your contribution to it.

“I would imagine his future is there, but he’s one of the top drivers so I’m sure there will be options for him. Obviously in the top areas there’s only Ferrari and Mercedes he could ever consider.

“But currently here that’s unlikely. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Hamilton found himself at a similar crossroads through 2012 when he was weighing up whether to stay at McLaren or leave for Mercedes, with his decision to switch teams leading to three world titles in the last four years.

Hamilton said Ricciardo would be best-advised to focus on his on-track displays, but added it was crucial for him to have his options for 2019 lined up as early as possible.

“I think he’s just got to keep his head down, keep doing what he's doing, but he should definitely have a contract on his table and he should have his options ready,” Hamilton said.

“I was talking to him and I don’t know if he has all his options already lined out for him and I was like” ‘Get them to your manager dude! Let me know if you want me to do it!’”

Hamilton is also yet to formally confirm his plans for 2019, but is widely expected to put pen-to-paper on a new Mercedes deal, leaving teammate Bottas at risk should the team opt for a change in driver line-up.

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