Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo has prompted conjecture that he’s eyeing a possible move to Mercedes in 2019. Australian has has one year left on his contract with Red Bull but has admitted he has already given a thought to where he will be racing in the 2019 season.
He has pair with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and is currently in competition with Max Verstappen who many predict is a star of the future.
Hamilton’s current team mate Valtteri Bottas recently signed a one-year contract extension for 2018. It means his tenure at Brackley expires at the same time that Ricciardo becomes a free agent.
Wolff told BBC Radio 5 Live. ” In so far as I would like the pairing to continue, we are committed to both of them in 2018 but having said that 2019 is a very exciting new year”.
“There are young drivers that will have gained more experience and some of the very good ones like Daniel become free.
“And what we want to see is how the first third of the season pans out, whether our car is good enough and strong enough, and this is what we are actually concentrating on and then we will analyse and then take the right decisions hopefully.”
Ricciardo and Hamilton in the same line-up could be a very interesting prospect but that will heavily depend on how Valtteri Bottas fares in his second season.
And while Wolff might be concerned about how Hamilton reacted to competition from within from previous team-mates such as Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg, the easy-going Ricciardo could provide a happy medium between competition and friendly rivalry.
“If you would have asked me the question one year ago I would have said having Lewis and Nico, two drivers who have a strong rivalry and are pushing each other and making the car faster,” Wolff added.
“But we have realised that the positive dynamics we had between Valtteri and Lewis in a difficult season like we had in 2017, was an asset.”
Daniel Ricciardo the easy-going Australian number two for Red Bull may find himself in high demand by the time winter testing and his home Grand Prix comes around next year.’