Should I stay or should I go? Ricciardo coy over McLaren link

Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has made it clear he hopes to persuade Ricciardo to stay.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo   -  Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo was coy Thursday about widespread reports that he is attracting interest from McLaren and Ferrari as well as his current Red Bull outfit.

The Australian told reporters he was aware of the stories linking him to other teams, but did not confirm or deny any of the quoted figures attributed to key source Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

Red Bull this week confirmed it was switching from Renault to Honda as engine suppliers from next year and team chief Christian Horner has made it clear he hopes to persuade Ricciardo to stay.

“Everyone's talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, but I'm aware there's obviously going to be interest from other teams and I guess McLaren is probably one of them,” he added.

“It probably depends as well on what Fernando (Alonso) does, if he stays or if he goes. If he does go, then I guess they will probably want a more experienced driver to come in. I guess we'll see.”

Ricciardo has won two races this year and was dominant in his triumph at the Monaco Grand Prix last month where he proved he had come of age as a race-winner.

Speaking at Le Castellet, ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix, he was his usual open and engaging self, but gave little away -- and made it clear that much may depend on the future of two-time champion Alonso who last weekend won the Le Mans 24-Hours race.

“I haven't been pushed yet,” he said. “But I would say there will be a bit of movement probably in the next week. Ideally for them, they'd want something sooner rather than later. Probably in the next two weeks would be ideal.

“But, for me, personally, I think it would be nice to go on the summer (European) break knowing what I'm doing so then I can actually enjoy it.

“If I'm on the phone for two weeks of the August break, trying to still figure out my future, it probably won't be that good.”

Ricciardo, 28, will be a free agent at the end of this season when his current Red Bull contract expires.

The team has Dutch tyro, Max Verstappen, 20, tied to a long-term deal and wants to retain the more-experienced Ricciardo as it builds for a new era with Honda.

When it was suggested that, according to German news reports, Marko had said McLaren had offered $20 million, Ricciardo laughed and said it was “not enough”.

He said he had not personally been in contact with any other teams, but conceded that his management may have been on his behalf.

“I don't know,” he said. “People talk, people have coffees and stuff. And Red Bulls!”

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