Webber: ‘Best thing to do is beat Max’
MOTORSPORT: The future is uncertain for Daniel Ricciardo as his Red Bull contract gets set to run its course.
With only one season remaining on his deal, just where the Australian driver will land and behind which wheel he'll be driving in 2019 remains an unknown equation.
Ricciardo has previously made it clear that he won't be making any snap decisions on his future, he does however loom as the hottest commodity on the market once the 2018 grinds to a halt.
His teammate Max Verstappen wasn't keen on waiting as he moved swiftly during the 2017 campaign to put pen to paper on contract extension.
In a move that caught many by surprise at the time, Verstappen opted to commit the next three years of his career to Red Bull despite the ongoing uncertainty about the team's engine supply future.
While Ricciardo did have a rather turbulent 2017 season, a former Australian F1 driver has stated what he needs to do during the upcoming season.
"I think the best thing he can do is beat Max," Mark Webber said.
"He wants to try and have a crack at that for five or six months, then look at the options."
Webber endured a similar situation during his Red Bull days after being the team's top driver before the arrival of a younger German star.
As Ricciardo refuses to give any inclination as to where his future lies, Webber believes neither the smiling West Australian or any teams will make an abrupt decision.
"I don't think Mercedes will be rushing to make a decision either; they're going to keep an eye on Valtteri Bottas and see how he's performing," Webber said.
Of course while many believe a switch for Ricciardo is imminent, Webber states that if things begin to click between the two sides, a change might not be necessary.
"But if he's beating Max and Red Bull are flying again, why would he leave?
"At the end of the day, I don't think Dan's too bothered what colour the car is. He just wants to win. That's what he's aiming to do."
Of course the situation is eerily similar to one Webber faced alongside Sebastian Vettel who quickly emerged as the teams golden child.
As the team swung in the favour of Vettel, Webber knew the one thing that could completely shift the momentum.
"Red Bull will support the guy that's leading the championship and doing the business," Webber said.
With the 2018 season just around the corner, the speculation regarding Ricciardo's future is only going to intensify and if he can't get the better of his younger teammate, a change in teams may just be what's needed.
"I don't think Helmut would be disappointed to see Daniel as World Champion, but he loves Max as well. They're both his favourite guys.