F1: Ricciardo tipped to replace Raikkonen
LONDON- Daniel Ricciardo says he would jump at the chance to join Ferrari as speculation grows about the future of Kimi Raikkonen with the Italian Formula One giants.
Ricciardo is regarded as the best young talents in the sport and has endured a frustrating season with Red Bull with off-track bungling costing the West Australian two race victories this season.
The 26-year-old’s contract with Red Bull expiries at the end of next year and he’s believed to be top of Ferrari’s wish list to replace Raikkonen, with the team yet to decide if they want to keep the veteran Finn for a fourth year.
“I understand if they were to make a change I’m a driver on their list,” Ricciardo told Autosport.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo during this year's Monaco Grand Prix. Picture/AP
“They haven’t made anything clear to me. There haven’t been any calls saying ‘we’re going to get rid of Kimi, we want you, can you do it with your contract?’ this or that.
“I’m aware they’d be interested, I don’t blame them.
“But other than what’s been said in the media there’s been nothing else, honestly.”
Should Ricciardo make the move to Ferrari it would reunite him with former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel who he very much played second fiddle to during the 2014 season.
The German previously endured a fractious relationship with Mark Webber and despite his initial reservations, Ricciardo said he ended up getting on very well with the former four-time world champion and wouldn’t be afraid of partnering him in a car he hopes could make him Australia’s first world champion since Alan Jones in 1980.
“With his relationship with Mark before I got there, I was ...cautious, with my approach with him as a team-mate,” said Ricciardo.
“But he was solid and we actually got on well and obviously the season went better for me than it did for him.
“He never really made excuses and if I beat him he shook my hand like a man and said “good race”, so he was a good team-mate.
“I like him, he’s a strong guy ... I wouldn’t turn it down.
“But the only reason I would jump ship and go up against him again would be to fight for a world title.
“Otherwise, if it’s just to have a [different] team-mate, I would rather try against a Lewis [Hamilton] or Fernando [Alonso] or something different.”
“He is quick and I would expect if we were to be team-mates again one day I’m sure he would put up a fight and it would be a good rivalry.”