Red Bull expects engine penalties in 2018


Christian Horner insists Daniel Ricciardo can fulfil his title-challenging ambitions at Red Bull and has urged the in-demand driver to resist potential advances from Mercedes and Ferrari.

Even if Mercedes were back on top of the constructors' standings, the world champions were beaten for the third race in a row at the Chinese Grand Prix - a first for the V6 turbo hybrid era that started in 2014. All the money had been on Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to continue his domination of a track on which he has won five times, but Ricciardo had other plans, putting in a sparkling display of driving and breathtaking overtaking, all mixed in with his Red Bull team using the right strategy to claim victory in Shanghai.

They have largely been held back by engine supplier Renault, with whom Red Bull have endured a fractious relationship for some time amid frustration at the French company's inability to match the power-units of Mercedes and Ferrari.

He led for the first 20 laps but fell back, first due to a pit stop and then after a collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the 43rd lap.

Until Sunday, Ricciardo had endured a hard start to the season. If not, then I guess there are probably other options.

"I don't want to sign anything too long because I don't know where the sport's going", he said.

Ferrari have made a terrific start to the season, Mercedes will undoubtedly bounce back having won the last four championships, while Red Bull have given him a auto capable of winning races again, so the decision will be a tricky one, but one arriving at his doorstep soon. We won at the weekend but we need to win regularly to kind of show that.

Daniel Ricciardo
GETTYDaniel Ricciardo is still out of contract at the end of the year

Daniel Ricciardo is the most sought after driver in the Formula 1 paddock with the Australian driver coming to the end of his contract with Red Bull Racing team.

"If we come out and win again in two weeks in Baku then I'll probably say yes".

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, and Sebastian failed to do that [in China].

"Lewis, for him, he was really struggling", Rosberg said in a video on his YouTube channel.

'Here we go, three races in, and we are not in so far...

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.