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2018 F1

Marko wants Ricciardo to stay at Red Bull

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Dr Helmut Marko says he wants Daniel Ricciardo to stay at Red Bull. Actually, Australian Ricciardo has gone onto the driver market for 2019, and is already linked with a move to Mercedes.

“I have a good relationship with Daniel,” Marko told France’s Auto Hebdo when asked about speculation regarding Ricciardo’s expiring contract.

“We really like him and want him to stay, but not under any conditions. The contract should be beneficial to us both,” the Red Bull official added.

If Ricciardo does go, it appears most likely that Red Bull would pull Carlos Sainz back after the Spaniard was ‘loaned’ to Renault this year.

That is because the junior team Toro Rosso’s new driver lineup may not be ready for the leap to Red Bull Racing.

Indeed, when a vacancy emerged at Toro Rosso last year, Red Bull re-called its former junior Brendon Hartley to fill the gap.

“At the time, we did not have any young drivers ready to go to formula one,” Marko admits.

“But I always understood that Brendon had speed and we had always continued to support him.”

As for Pierre Gasly, Marko added: “In 2016 he won GP2 but he made mistakes, so we decided he was not ready for F1. We sent him to Super Formula but the first race was horrible.

“Then he learned to focus on himself, not blame others, and basically he grew up and started to cope. Now Pierre has become a much more mature person,” he added.

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