Ricciardo: No news on Red Bull yet

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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he is yet to get the call from Red Bull to confirm that he will be racing for them next season, despite all of the signs suggesting that he is set to join the defending world champions.

Ricciardo was initially shortlisted alongside Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne for the seat next season after Mark Webber confirmed that he would be retiring at the end of the year. Vergne was quickly ruled out by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, and news broke earlier this week quoting Raikkonen’s manager who confirmed that talks with the team were over. Despite appearing to be the last man standing, Ricciardo is refusing to believe that the move is a formality.

“Obviously there’s a bit of excitement around, maybe everyone gets a bit bored in the August break, I get bored don’t worry,” Ricciardo joked. “Nothing yet, nothing further to say from what I knew. Until it comes from someone over that side [Red Bull], whichever decision they make, as far as I know I’m still here for this year and don’t know anything about next year.

He also believes that teammate Jean-Eric Vergne is still an option for Red Bull, meaning that he cannot get complacent about securing the drive for 2014.

“I think I’ve learned that until something is signed, sealed, delivered, nothing is ever concrete, particularly in this environment. Whether that’s true or not, who knows, obviously there’s still my teammate Jean-Eric who as far as I am concerned isn’t out of the picture. There’s a lot of other F1 drivers on the grid with pretty good credentials, so as I said, until something is done, I’m not gonna start celebrating or getting my hopes up.”

Had Ricciardo impressed Red Bull enough, one would assume that the announcement would already have been made. Instead, he is being forced to bide his time which, all the while, is allowing other drivers to throw their hat into the ring for Webber’s seat next season.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).