Daniel Ricciardo is one of the most awaited man in the Paddock; the Red Bull driver spent his Friday doing several interviews, but this is still nothing compared to what will happen in the next races. Daniel, together with Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso, has an expiring contract at the end of the year and is yet to decide where his future will be.
It is clear, after his victory in China, that Red Bull wants to keep him in the team, after a ten years relationship. Will Ricciardo stay considering the team made it clear they want to win the Championship with Verstappen? Difficult to say.
A seat in Mercedes in not impossible: Lewis is likely to stay, but with his on conditions and times. Toto Wolff suggested that the team might force the timing, but there should not be surprises from Hamilton’s side of the box. Some can come from the other side: Valtteri Bottas earned one year contract with last year’s performances and is doing a great job this season too, despite some bad luck in Baku. A renewal might be not that easy for him, considering that a top driver like Ricciardo or Alonso can be a threat.
Alonso himself might want to try another experience before leaving Formula 1: Briatore, his long-time friend and agent, has been seen in the Mercedes Hospitality, but rumours suggests that he may be talking with Ferrari too. Will the Spaniard be back for good?
Difficult to say, because Raikkonen’s seat in a dream for many, right now, and the only stumbling block to get it is called Sebastian Vettel. The German and the Finn are big friend and is not a secret that Raikkonen is the perfect team man, in this moment, that works for the team not just for the Constructors championship, but for the driver’s too.
What’s the best option, then, for Daniel?
“He should bet on Ferrari, it’s the perfect choice for him.” Said Nico Rosberg to Motorsport.com. “Maybe Vettel won’t be so happy about it.”
The 2016 World Champion may be right: there’s history between the two of them, when they were team mates in Red Bull and Daniel finished the season in front of the German.
“Troubles? I don’t know, but if I was Daniel I would go there.” Continues Nico, who always had some sweet words for Ferrari since he left the circus. “I know about Mercedes technical potential and I believe Ferrari has the best car right now.”
We will know if Nico is right only at the end of the season; for now, it is clear that he would be a big presence in the red garage, considering that Vettel is used to be the number 1 driver of the pair. And we all know Daniel’s nickname, the Honey Badger, and he’s hungry for a championship. His arrival at Ferrari or every other team would have just one goal: the world title.
We won’t know the end of the story for now, but It feels like the Silly Season is officially opened.