Ricciardo shelves contract talks until start of European season

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo is holding off on any contract talks with Red Bull Racing until the European F1 season gets under way.

The Aussie has been encouraged by Red Bull to engage in talks about his future and consider extending his lease with the Milton Keynes outfit.

However, potential opportunities for 2019 linked to Mercedes and Ferrari coupled with his desire to assess Red Bull's own future have enticed Ricciardo to take his time before weighing his options.

"Nothing has changed and to be honest I don’t think anything will until we get to Europe," Ricciardo said.

"I think for Red Bull obviously it is the sooner the better.

"We will see, but I will at least say that this weekend or next weekend I don’t think anything is going to change."

The rumor mill has been spinning a story about Ricciardo having signed a letter of intent with Ferrari but both Red Bull and its driver have denied the gossip.

The 28-year-old kicked off his season with a fourth-place finish in Melbourne but his hopes of a good showing in Bahrain were reduced to a mirage in the desert following an catastrophic electrical failure which put him out of the race after just one lap.

The Renault breakdown resembled an issue encountered during pre-season testing and has led Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko to castigate its engine partner once again.

"The problem of Ricciardo is it is not the first time it’s happened," Marko told Motorsport.com.

"What can you do when a technical issue just stops you completely? First we have to sort out our qualifying, but we need a fast and reliable engine."

Red Bull is facing a dilemma, having to determine in the next few months whether to extend its deal with Renault or switch its allegiance to Honda which has achieved undeniable progress with Toro Rosso.

It's possible however that neither prospect enchants Daniel Ricciardo, it a Mercedes or Ferrari power unit is on offer somewhere else...

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