Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to a fair fight with his teammate Max Verstappen in the 2018 F1 season, in spite of all the allegations of favouritism in Red Bull.
Verstappen agreed to extend his contract with the Milton Keynes based team until the end of 2020 after team boss Christian Horner urged him to commit to a longer term and build a team around him.
Ricciardo’s current contract ends after the 2018 season. The Australian has said that he will decide after evaluating all the choices available. He also said he wants to see the new 2018 cars in action before making up his mind.
Mercedes and Ferrari both have a vacant seat for 2019 and are interested in Ricciardo.
Horner has expressed interest in retaining the Aussie on a long-term with the team and said he is willing to wait for Ricciardo to make up his mind.
Ricciardo recently revealed that the team boss took him aside to explain his comments about Verstappen’s Red Bull prospects.
Does Ricciardo believe he will get everything he needs around him to win in 2018 if the Austrian team builds a championship worthy car, we asked, and he said: “I do. That’s 100 percent honest.
“That [comment] is not what you want to hear. I didn’t see it in the press, but afterward, I found out about Christian’s comment.
“It was because he actually came up to me and cleared it up. He said ‘look, if you’ve seen the comments, it’s not out of context, but I didn’t want it to come across that way.’
“He said ‘please, I don’t want you to think anything like that. We’re fighting for both of you’.
“Max got the updated engine in the last few races, that was the only thing that has ever been different.
“But I don’t have any concern with it. If I did, I would have spoken up about it already.”
Ricciardo said he was happy with Horner’s explanation and is looking forward to doing his next in the next season.
“Even if the engine is a tenth quicker, I’ve just got to drive two tenths better,” he said. “If I’m good enough, I’ll beat him anyway! I’m confident.
“I acknowledge that I have to be perfect more often than not if I want to stay in front. My Sundays this year were as good as they’ve ever been for the most part. The racer in me is very confident and determined.”