Red Bull expects a quick and “straightforward” resolution over Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 future now that Lewis Hamilton has signed his Mercedes contract extension. 

Christian Horner previously said Hamilton’s delayed contract negotiations were holding up the 2019 F1 driver market, but after the reigning world champion agreed a new two-year deal to remain with Mercedes the Red Bull team boss has predicted a quick-fire chain reaction of deals to be struck. 

On Friday the German manufacturer also announced it would be retaining Valtteri Bottas for next season, firmly closing the Mercedes door on the out-of-contract Ricciardo, who had been considering his options.

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Speaking to Sky Sports F1 at the German Grand Prix, Horner said he now expects a swift resolution to strike a fresh deal with Ricciardo. 

“I think that now Lewis has triggered that signature I think the rest of the positions you’ll see cascade through during the next week or so, I don’t think we’re set for any surprises,” Horner explained. 

“At the end of the day we’ve made it clear from the very beginning that we wanted to retain both drivers and that’s what we are very focussed on doing, not just for one season but for reasonable longevity.”

Talks with Ricciardo had been momentarily put on hold while the Milton Keynes-based squad prioritised negotiations with Honda, which will supply the team from 2019.  

That gave the Australian the opportunity to talk to other teams, though with Mercedes looking likely to retain its line-up and with Ferrari understood to be leaning towards promoting Charles Leclerc in place of Kimi Raikkonen, Ricciardo’s options quickly narrowed down. 

When asked if he was bothered by Ricciardo looking at other teams, Horner replied: “Not really. You can understand it, he’s been in the Red Bull family for 10 years and it’s the first time he’s effectively been out of contract, which is a new experience for him. 

“Obviously he and his advisors were having a bit of a sniff around, that’s normal and that’s the business in this pitlane. He’s comfortable where he is and I think he’s happy. Hopefully it should be fairly straightforward now.”

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