Daniel Ricciardo has said he is “not looking too far ahead” as his name, among many others, gets linked to the vacant Mercedes spot.
Lewis Hamilton’s surprise departure to Ferrari has left Mercedes with a gap to fill in their 2025 lineup and almost as soon as Hamilton’s move was confirmed, speculation began on who would replace him.
While Mercedes have a year to figure that out, it has not stopped almost every driver being linked to the seat including one Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo bats away talk of Mercedes move
Ricciardo is heading into his 14th F1 season but he is one of a number of drivers whose deal expires at the end of this year. While a stay at Red Bull looks far more likely, Ricciardo did give his opinion on the vacant Silver Arrows seat.
“I’m definitely not looking that far ahead,” the Australian said during RB’s launch. “At this part of my career, looking ahead feels a bit like a year closer to the end. So it’s more reason for me to be there now and really take it race by race.
“I guess in their [Mercedes’] position they are in no rush. So they will judge everyone, how they are doing, the driver market, whatever. So I think this is a good position for them.
“Part of me is also happy not to be involved in all this crazy stuff, especially this early in the season. So if the silly season happens without me, that’s fine with me at this point!”
For Ricciardo, he has his eye set on the Red Bull top seat with Sergio Perez also going into the final year of his deal. To achieve that, he must first perform well with the second team and has indicated top five finishes are within reach.
“You have to aim high, but being in this sport so long, you want to remain realistic as you don’t want to end up ultimately disappointed.
“Top-fives should be a target and if we get into that position, maybe some podiums present themselves. Of course we want to win but, you know, let’s…I think we made steps last year, let’s make a few more steps.
“Do I think top-five results are on the table – and could they be on the table in the first half of the season? I’d like to think so.”