There is “a lot at stake” for Daniel Ricciardo as he mentally prepares himself to think about his future in Formula 1.
Ricciardo is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2018 season, and for the first time in his career, he gets to choose his next team.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said that he would like to retain Ricciardo in the team until 2020 and he is willing to wait for the Australian to decide.
But the Aussie is not ready to sign a deal just yet. He is aware that the next contract can see him become the world champion if he makes the right choice. So he wants to wait and see how the Red Bull’s RB14 will perform on the tracks before signing a long-term deal.
Here is what Ricciardo wrote in his driver’s column on Red Bull’s website: “So where do things stand? The short answer is that there’s absolutely no rush, and things can take as long as they take – I’m not setting a deadline for anyone else’s sake, or just to get it done for me.
“I’m not just going to settle on something because I want it to be off my mind because there’s a lot at stake. It’s a big decision for me, so if I need to take time to make it, [and], I will.
“I’m planning on being in the sport for a long while yet, but in saying that, if I was to sign, say, a three-year deal, that’s a big chunk of the next part of my career.
“I need to get it right, so it’s a big call – the most important one for me yet, I think. I’ll take as much time as I need to. It’s not going to be a distraction.”
Mercedes and Ferrari have an open slot for 2019 in their teams, and both are keen to sign up the Australian. Ricciardo knows of his demand in the driver market and says that he will decide based on whoever can provide a car that can win the championship.
“Being in the position to make the decision is something cool, something unusual, and something where I feel like I’ll probably learn a lot. No matter what happens, it’ll be a growing experience for me because it’s something I’ve not been through.
“It’ll be nice to stand on my own two feet and make some grown-up decisions. Maybe even act like an adult! It’s all part of the evolution, I’m told …”