At the height of Red Bull’s engine supply crisis some weeks ago, the Australian driver seemed to be lining up an alternative when – on Twitter – Nascar star Dale Earnhardt jr invited Ricciardo to a test “at any time”.
“Unofficially I’d love to, let’s see what happens,” Ricciardo said at the time.
But at Abu Dhabi on Friday, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner seemed to put Ricciardo’s F1 future firmly back on track by saying he has now inked an engine contract for 2016.
“For sure it’s dragged on longer than it should have,” Ricciardo told the Sydney Morning Herald, “but I’ve remained calm throughout and the team has reassured me I will be racing.”
So that means the end of his serious Nascar ambitions for now, as Ricciardo will apparently be fully occupied with F1 for the foreseeable future.
“At the moment I guess it is a bit of banter,” he said. “But if Red Bull told me today I’m not racing and I’ve got nothing else to do then I’d get on the phone to Dale and ask him for a test at least.
“I mean, right now, the thought is awesome and when I saw the tweet (from Earnhardt) I was very excited but it is going to be put on standby for a little while longer,” Ricciardo added.