Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver will always bounce back - Nico Rosberg

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo has thrown another curveball in the developing saga revolving around his expiring deal with Red Bull.

The Austrian team are keen to retain Ricciardo but the driver decided he will wait until midway through the campaign before making a decision on staying with Red Bull or moving to a new team, which is likely to be Mercedes or Ferrari.

"We just have to make sure they happen on the right track", Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Motor und Sport. He's been linked with possible moves to either Ferrari or Mercedes in 2019.

Storming through the field, winning his sixth race just 24 hours after a dramatic turbo failure threatened to see him start from the back - is Daniel Ricciardo the hottest property in F1?

"I definitely want to be with the best auto", said Ricciardo during an appearance on 'The Project' on Australia's Channel 10.

The 28-year-old Australian, victor in China at the weekend and one of the hottest properties on the market, is out of contract with Red Bull at the end of the year. Each year something might change so I don't want to tie myself down for four more years and then I'm like, "I don't want to do this anymore". "If we come out and win again in two weeks in Baku then I'll probably say yes".

As a measure of form, Shanghai was more significant than Australia or Bahrain - both won a year ago by Ferrari's current championship leader Sebastian Vettel. In the Ferrari camp, Sebastian Vettel is signed up until 2020 but Kimi Raikkonen's deal expires this year.

The six-time race victor will be a free agent at the end of this season and revealed he is open to making the switch to a new team if his current employers can not provide him a auto to challenge for the Drivers' Championship title.

Mercedes and Hamilton both insist it is only a matter of time until they agree a new contract but team boss Toto Wolff has said he will not decide whether to keep Bottas until he has seen how the Finn performs in the first half of the season. "Five mistakes in three races, and five major mistakes, it's too much".

But Ferrari operate at the moment with Vettel as a de facto number one, and Raikkonen as a support driver whose races have occasionally been compromised to help Vettel. Usually he struggles for one, two or three races, and those are the races when as his opponent in the Championship you have to maximise.

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