Baku - Daniel
Ricciardo on Thursday dismissed widespread reports suggesting that he
has signed a pre-contract agreement to leave Red Bull for Ferrari next
Australian star Ricciardo, winner of the Chinese Grand Prix earlier
this month and victorious in last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, insisted
that he has held talks on his future only with Red Bull.
He is expected to lead another strong Red Bull challenge this weekend
on the Baku street circuit in Sunday’s edition of the Azerbaijan
contest which last year delivered a momentous race punctuated by crashes
and Safety Car interventions.
These included a 'road rage' incident involving Sebastian Vettel and
Lewis Hamilton after the German accused the Briton of 'brake-testing'
Asked about reports that he had agreed a pre-contract arrangement
with Ferrari, Ricciardo told a news conference: "That's not true, I can
say that I've only had talks with Red Bull.
“Even last year we had been pretty open with each other. They are
interested in keeping me and we have had some talks regarding that.
“I'm aware of other reports, but there hasn't been anything else so they are not true."
Ricciardo will be out of contact at the end of this season as will be Kimi Raikkonen, who is team-mate to Vettel.
Ricciardo also revealed on Thursday that he had required surgery in
London following the Chinese Grand Prix for a wound to his lip, which he
had bitten during the Bahrain Grand Prix last month.
The big-smiling Aussie explained: “It took me five days to get back
to Monaco after winning in Shanghai and it seriously felt like I was on
the go for all five.
“I wish I had some decent stories of crazy three-day parties and that
sort of thing to share with you, but it was about as uneventful as
“I was on multiple flights connecting the night after the race, went
straight into the Red Bull Racing factory at Milton Keynes, had time in
the simulator, and then I had to get some minor surgery.
“I had this weird thing with my lip happen in Bahrain the weekend
before where I bit it and it must have got infected or something because
I kept biting it over and over.
“So I had to get that taken out and stitched back up in London, so
that - and a fair bit of talking about China - was basically the week
after Shanghai for me. I got back to Monaco last Friday, where I could
finally put my feet up."
Elaborating on his future, he later added: "What I'm chasing is to try and be world champion.
“That's my goal, my dream and something I really believe I am capable of."