Ricciardo reaching a crossroads

Bayden Westerweller Roar Guru

By Bayden Westerweller, 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

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • June 23rd 2017 @ 4:46pm
      GB H2O said | June 23rd 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

      If Hamilton wins the World Championship he will most likely follow Nico. Kimi is past it and will also retire. That will lead to the two best seats in F1 being available. Vettel will not want Ricciardo as a partner after the way he embarrassed him at Red Bull. So that leaves Mercedes as a highly likely option for Ricciardo and Ferrari for Verstappen

      • Roar Guru

        June 24th 2017 @ 5:33pm
        Bayden Westerweller said | June 24th 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

        Vettel to Mercedes appears likelier than Ricciardo, if anything the former would move to Brackley with Ricciardo filling the vacancy at Maranello. Hamilton is certain to honour his contract through 2018 at the least.

    • Roar Guru

      June 23rd 2017 @ 7:31pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | June 23rd 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

      Again, it all depends on how tight these contracts with Red Bull are. You’d think after solid service across years of being nowhere for Red Bull Racing, that if a place at Ferrari became available, that he would be able to pounce immediately. We have to see Red Bull as a team that’s not a desirable destination for any driver to go to anymore.

      They’ve failed to adapt to life without Adrian Newey and that’s only going to mean they will never be able to design a winning package without him. Also they are not going to budge with Renault either, resulting in what will be a state of stasis for Red Bull over the next few years. The likes of Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz better fight their way out of their contracts, so they can actually attain success sometime soon.

      • Roar Guru

        June 24th 2017 @ 5:36pm
        Bayden Westerweller said | June 24th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

        If the reported upgrades finally deliver at coming events, that notion might yet change, though as it stands, Ricciardo extracting himself asap is the desirable option.

        Sainz could undercut Ricciardo to Ferrari unless the latter is willing to buy his way out of the final season of his contract, which would be worthwhile if Räikkönen finally hangs up his helmet.

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