© Getty Images

Ricciardo locked in at Red Bull until end of 2018

Leave a comment

Daniel Ricciardo and Christian Horner have put an end to rumors linking the Australian with a move away from Red Bull by confirming he is locked into a contract lasting until the end of 2018.

Ricciardo is one of the highest-rated drivers in Formula 1, having claimed three grand prix victories with Red Bull back in 2014 and leading its charge since the departure of Sebastian Vettel.

With Ferrari thought to be weighing up driver options for 2017, Ricciardo had been linked with a move to the Italian marque.

However, Red Bull team principal Horner has long stated that Ricciardo would not be on the move given his long-term contract.

When asked by the official F1 website if the rumors linking him to Ferrari were just that, Ricciardo said: “Well, yes, the deal with Red Bull was always long term.

“The only thing that was keeping things a bit open was performance more from my side.

“But again, if they were doing really bad then I am sure if I had an approach for a winning car then it would have been OK.

“But at the moment, behind Mercedes it is the next best place to be and I hope that in 2017 we can be as good as Mercedes.”

Ricciardo is also quoted by motorsport.com speaking about the public nature of the deal, which had been largely kept under wraps.

“It has always been pretty discrete, I guess,” he said. “Helmut [Marko] made a few comments, and it is good, he means he likes me. It is hard to tell some days!

“To be honest, the team is very happy with the line-up they have at the moment with myself and Max. I would say it is pretty stable.”

Horner also discussed the deal with Sky Sports, saying that there was nothing to be discussed for next season given the nature of Ricciardo’s contract.

“There’s no deal to be done. Daniel signed a five-year agreement, and we’re three years in, so there are two years to go,” he said.

“Why would he want to be anywhere else? He can see the trajectory that we’re on.

“The engine is making progress and we have regulation changes for next year.”

With Max Verstappen also locked in to a long-term contract, Red Bull is currently the only team on the grid with its line-up firmed up for the 2017 season.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.