Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed rumors linking him with a move to Ferrari for the 2016 Formula 1 season, calling the story “a bit of a laugh”.
Ricciardo has been tipped as a possible replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari upon the expiration of the Finn’s contract at the end of the current season.
Although Ferrari does have an option on Raikkonen’s services for 2016, it is unclear whether the team will take this up following a string of underwhelming performances in recent races.
However, Ricciardo was quick to brush off rumors of a move to Ferrari, saying that he is unsure where the speculation arose from.
“I don’t even know where the rumours started actually,” Ricciardo told the official F1 website. “It’s really exploded.
“Ferrari is probably the only top team potentially with a seat open, which is why I guess my name and a few others have been linked to that.”
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg have also been linked with a move to Maranello for 2016 to work alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo spent a year as Vettel’s teammate at Red Bull in 2014, and although he was flattered by the link to Ferrari, he laughed off the idea of a move away.
“It’s a bit of a laugh,” Ricciardo said. “You know what, it’s fun. We talk about these things now, so it creates some variety in our conversations!
“Obviously it is nice to be regarded by a top team like that – it’s nice to know there is interest from other teams as well.
“But I am with a top team too.”
Further to Ricciardo’s comments, it is unlikely that Vettel would entertain working alongside Ricciardo once again in case of another defeat like the one he suffered in 2014.
The German driver’s reputation was dealt a blow as he finished 71 points behind Ricciardo in the drivers’ championship and with just four podium finishes to his name before he left for Ferrari at the end of the year.