Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner says he is happy to wait for Daniel Ricciardo to make a decision about his future, saying it is “understandable” that the Australian wants to wait to find out what the team’s future engine plans are before committing to a new contract.
Red Bull announced over the United States Grand Prix weekend that Max Verstappen had put pen to paper on a new deal running up to the 2020 season, as well as stating its intention to build the team around the Dutchman moving forward.
The announcement raised questions about Ricciardo’s future, with the five-time grand prix winner’s contract set to expire at the end of the 2018 season, with seats at Ferrari and Mercedes known to be available for the following year.
Ricciardo said he felt it was too early to be making plans beyond 2018, wishing to bide his time and consider his options, with Horner understanding his driver’s wishes.
“At the right time we will sit down, but he knows where we are and that our intent is to keep him,” Horner told media including Crash.net in Mexico.
“He enjoys being within the team, he sees the qualities and capabilities in the team and he knows how we go about our racing, how we treat the two drivers and he’s comfortable and happy with that.
“So I think he’s keen to see what engine performance looks like next year, which is understandable.
“The next move that he makes at 28 years of age is a very important one for him, so of course he is going to take the time to make sure the decision is right for him.
“He knows the intention very clearly, and I’ve discussed it with him, is that we want him within the team.”
“If that takes another six months then so be it.”