[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] DANIEL RICCIARDO: CONTRACTS ON THE TABLE

Daniel Ricciardo has reportedly signed an agreement with Ferrari that will keep him from negotiating with any other team until June 30th.

...including Red Bull Racing, which has given him a May 27 Monaco GP deadline, to advise of his plans.

Ricciardo’s stock is high, following his thrilling win in China, where he passed five drivers in eight laps, three of them F1 World Champions.

The Australian’s resurgence enabled by his quick thinking Red Bull team, which pitted him under the safety car – a switch to the softs handing him an advantage over those on used mediums ahead.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIEL RICCIARDO,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“Knowing we had a good soft tyre, a new soft tyre, for the restart - that was already exciting, knowing we might be able to fight our way from sixth through to a podium. Once I got into, I think, fourth place, then I was like, I felt the car's speed and I was like ‘the win is on’.”

Ricciardo’s victory, his first in China and sixth overall, was a perfect end to a tough weekend for the team, with the Australian almost not taking part in qualifying – a turbocharger failure forcing a last-minute engine change.

… one completed an hour faster than Red Bull’s previous best time, which got him out in Q1 with just minutes to spare.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIEL RICCIARDO,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“2-minutes later and we wouldn't have made it, we would have have been starting at the back, and we wouldn’t have won the race starting from the back. They set it up, yesterday I said I would have loved to give them a pole position to reward them, but I think the win is the best reward possible."

The 28-year-old’s attention will now turn to where he’ll be racing in 2019. But, while he’s giving little away in terms of his decision, Ricciardo said exclusively to The Inside Line performance is the focus.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) DANIEL RICCIARDO,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“You can chase a big contract in terms of figures as well, but the primary thing which I’ve made up my mind as well is if I could have both, great, but the performance and the quickest car is the first box I want to tick for now.”

Should that reported agreement with Ferrari exist, his focus will be on securing equal number one status. But, he may still choose to go to Mercedes or stay at Red Bull, should the squad keep winning races.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIEL RICCIARDO,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“I think in qualifying Mercedes and Ferrari are a little bit stronger on some of these circuits, but in the race we are closing up. I am ready, and I think if we put some pressure on them, we can do it."