Daniel Ricciardo has categorically ruled out a move to Ferrari by insisting he will stay at Red Bull until 2018.
The 26-year old Australian, who has been one of the standout performers in Formula One this season, has been linked with a move to the famous Italian constructor.
With Kimi Raikkonen, the eldest driver on the grid, approaching the end of his grand prix career, Ricciardo was mooted as the natural successor to the Finn.
But speaking on the eve of the Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull’s home race – Ricciardo said: “I can confidently say now that I will still be here in 2017. And I am with Red Bull for a couple of years beyond this one.
“When I was asked in Canada, I said the only reason I would look elsewhere would be to fight for a world title, not appealing to jump ship for something that isn’t better.
“I was very honest when I got asked if I’d had contact and I said I honestly hadn’t. There’s never been any contact, but I guess, even if I am under contract, I’m a driver that’s probably considered by some teams.”
Indeed, Ferrari, despite their failure to win a drivers’ title in nearly a decade, still hold the allure of being the sport’s greatest team.
“Of course, if you are Ferrari I guess they have got a dilemma in terms of drivers that are available who they would take for next year,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “But our drivers are not available.
“Daniel is happy with the environment he is in. He believes in the team for the future and I think he sees an opportunity.”