Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen have been at the centre of the several questions in the Red Bull Ring Press Conference room, as both drivers are in the middle of the Silly Season’s speculations.
Daniel Ricciardo is likely to be confirmed to drive for Red Bull next year and the decision is expected to come soon.
“There has been a bit of interest on me. I want to put something on paper before the summer break. I want to be relaxed on holidays, I know what red bull can give me and I’m getting to the point where my ideas are clearer.” Said the Aussie, who can even count on his good performances this year to raise the bar for his contract. Also, from his side, the new Red Bull – Honda partnership will not influence his decision, but it “surely makes the situation clearer to decide”.
Red Bull is surely delivering good performances and Daniel is pretty optimistic about this season: “I think we have a good pace this year, on every track. 5th was the worst we’ve done this season.”
The fight for the championship is still open? Absolutely.
“I think we’re still fighting for the championship. We’re far in the standings, but we’ve never been closer to the fight, compared to the last four seasons. We still need some upgrades to try and get more.”
The Aussie joked about his missed shoey with Prince Albert in Monaco (he didn’t want to compromise his citizenship), and when they asked who his ideal team mate would be, he jokingly answers “Kimi or Valtteri”.
Kimi Raikkonen is himself in the middle of Silly Season’s speculation, as this week the news of an interest for him by McLaren surfaced.
Obviously, the Ice Man, when asked what his future will be answered: “Every year the same answer: we’ll see.”
The Finn made no mistake that he wanted to finish his Formula 1 journey dressed in red, but as he recalls, he already finished his career in Ferrari once.
“I already finished in Ferrari and I came back. I don’t know what will happen. There are lot of rumours and I’m not happy to comment them.”
Media also suggested that he did a good race in France thanks to Sebastian Vettel mistake at the start, as he wasn’t forced to race for his team mate, but only for himself. Raikkonen denied every team strategy: “I don’t know what you’re trying to ask. It depended from the track layout; in the previous races it was impossible to race and overtake compared to Paul Ricard. It only depends upon this, not on Seb or team strategies.”
Coming back to McLaren, the Finn continued: “Yes, I spoke with McLaren in the past, when I drove for them. Clearly, I have no interest in being involved in these rumours. You would like to know, right? I don’t think your opinion can change by what I say. You decide what’s true or not.”
Classic Ice Man.
Another driver ready to face the media was Kevin Magnussen, who finished 6th in France and is in a really good moment of his career. The Dane is disputing a great season, thanks to a real good Haas.
“I think my season has been pretty positive until now. I’ve never had such a competitive car in Formula 1 apart from McLaren. I’m really enjoying the season thanks to the car and it’s the first time I’m in a team for the second year in a row: you know the team, how it works.”
This good moment is highlighted thanks to K- Mag team mate poor performances: Romain Grosjean has still zero points on his side, combined with bad luck. Anyway, Magnussen’s future is still uncertain: “I have no news about my future. Haas has an option on me, there’s no much stress about it.”
The hopes for the season are, indeed, high: “We have a good car, worth the 4th place between all teams. Renault is in a good place and the season is still long. We’ll do our best, from 5th to 8th we are all so close, so I hope to fight for 5th in the constructor standings. I’m proud of my team, considering our budget.”
In the press room there was Sergey Sirotkin too, who will watch the FP1 from the Williams garage tomorrow as Robert Kubica will jump behind the wheel.
It is a difficult season for Williams and Sergey surely didn’t expect to lay at the bottom of the standings, but it’s part of the game.
“I didn’t expect something different from my season. I hoped to fight more for points, but It didn’t happen. We are still fighting in the team to improve, to bond within the team. I like this part of the job, but I hoped for something better. I’m enjoying this anyway. I’m focusing on driving and on my role within the team.”
Sirtokin and Williams are expecting new components which can maybe raise their hopes after the delusional performance in Paul Ricard.