Ricciardo reaching a crossroads

Bayden Westerweller Roar Guru

By , Bayden Westerweller is a Roar Guru

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    Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton would welcome Ricciardo into their teams from 2019. (Aron Suveg/Red Bull Content Pool)

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    Three consecutive podiums speak to his consistency, yet Daniel Ricciardo is rapidly approaching the definitive phase of his career

    Rising twenty-eight, the West Australian requires Red Bull to rediscover its touch or pursue alternatives if he wishes to be in a title contending position by the time he reaches 30.

    Lying fifth in the drivers’ standings isn’t where Ricciardo envisaged himself leading into the season, yet he’s optimised every opportunity for this return.

    Teammate Max Verstappen has endured his share of misfortune at recent events, then so did Ricciardo in the early flyaways and his superiority over the Dutchman should be treated as representative.

    A distant third at Spain following attrition among front-runners was fortuitous, though a strategic rise to the same position at Monaco – where second was briefly within reach, and once more at Canada courtesy of an intra Force India squabble and Verstappen’s early demise places him just six points adrift of Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen, whose teammate Sebastian Vettel leads the standings.

    The RB12 leans closer to the Dutchman’s style and it’s testament to Ricciardo’s adaptability – particularly on Sundays, that he continues to deliver results in mediocre machinery.

    Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, of Red Bull, is interviewed by the media.

    (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images).

    Despite this, the Milton Keynes outfit undoubtedly views Verstappen as its future and Ricciardo should make every attempt to embrace suitors willing to mould themselves around the Australian.

    It may sound rough to suggest that time is running short at 27, though being pigeonholed as a consistent points accumulator shapes as the recourse so long as Ricciardo remains at the energy drinks company.

    Logic dictates a Maranello berth, where his Italian heritage is an instant attraction, though Vettel’s future may determine Ricciardo’s own and he should consider all options if fate is to remain in his own hands.

    An outside contender is McLaren should the Woking outfit reunite with Mercedes yet unable to convince Fernando Alonso to re-commit, where the four-time winner would form a compelling roster alongside the maligned Stoffel Vandoorne.

    Renault would serve as an ideal candidate if it were twelve months further down the line, coupled with the undeniable carrot of manufacturer status. This could yet come to pass if the Australian is content with a further twelve months at Red Bull, upon which a tandem with Nico Hulkenberg would prove formidable.

    Irrespective of its impetus on Verstappen, Red Bull’s own tenuous commitment to Formula One should act as an incentive for Ricciardo to realise a future with an outfit invested in the sport for the long haul.

    Jenson Button was made to wait ten years and Nico Rosberg eleven for their titles, it’s criminal to foresee Ricciardo being forced to wait another four years for his date with destiny to present itself. It’s time for the ‘Honey Badger’ to make his own luck