Ricciardo signs option with Ferrari – report

Daniel Ricciardo has reportedly signed an option agreement with Ferrari as speculation mounts over his long-term future in Formula 1.

The Aussie has been the subject of much discussion given that his current deal runs out of the end of the season and the spotlight has become even brighter since clinching victory at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo has recently said that he has had no discussions with either Ferrari or Mercedes, who could both have seats available in 2019, but Motorsport Magazine's Mark Hughes thinks otherwise.

'There are many different types of contractual options, but this one is said to be on both sides up to a defined date (believed to be June 30). Up until that time, neither party can officially negotiate with another,' Hughes reported.

'Because the driver is effectively locking himself out of the market for that time, discussions for his post-2018 services are contractually ‘owned’ by the team (in this case Ferrari). 

'As such, he will be paid a fee. Between now and then he and Ferrari can negotiate about a future contract. This is all conventional F1 practice.'

If Ricciardo was to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, he would be reunited with former team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who formed Red Bull's line-up in 2014.

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Kvyat completes first Ferrari run-out

Daniil Kvyat has performed his first on-track duties with Ferrari after completing a Pirelli wet tyre test at Fiorano on Friday. 

The Russian was a surprise signing for the Scuderia in the off-season, with the axed Toro Rosso driver securing a development role with the team.

Kvyat had been restricted to simulator work since signing in January, but got behind the wheel of the SF71-H for the first time this season as part of a tyre development test.

Antonio Giovinazzi, who is still on the books at Ferrari, initially took the Ferrari for a spin on Thursday before handing over to Kvyat.

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Raikkonen: It’s nice that nobody knows the pecking order

Kimi Raikkonen admits it is difficult to know which team is currently the front-runner in F1, adding “it’s nice”.

Mercedes were expected to dominate the season again, but instead Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel have won two of the three races while Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull won the Chinese Grand Prix.

Merc, though, are also in the mix with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton claiming two podium positions each.

Raikkonen, who has two third-place finishes to his name, says it’s a case of “wait and see” every race when it comes to seeing who is the fastest.

“Pure speed, with everybody on the same tyres in a race… it’s difficult, very difficult, to say. I think it’s nice like that, for everybody to watch, because nobody really knows,” he said.

“Everybody would love to know but nobody really [does] because it changes from race to race and such a small difference makes a big difference in the end result.

“You just have to wait and see. It might change from race to race, and who runs what tyres.”

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Ricciardo: Still no Mercedes/Ferrari approach

Daniel Riccardo has revealed he has still had no contact from Mercedes or Ferrari about joining them from next season.

Ricciardo reminded potential suitors of his talents with a wonderful overtaking display in China, where he grabbed a sixth-career win.

But the Aussie has yet to be approached from the two other big dogs in Formula 1, who both could have vacant seats at the end of the season.

"I kind of feel like if they want me to race for them they should contact me, but they haven't," Ricciardo said.

Riccardo has also confirmed that he is looking to sign a new two-year deal as he takes the 2021 regulations into consideration.

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

"I feel like life is happening pretty fast. 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'.

"Ideally I'd sign a two-year contract.

"I think two years I can definitely be comfortable with and then see it from there.

“That third year will be the rule change so I will probably wait and see what happens then."

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Alonso ‘doesn’t care’ about Ferrari or Honda

Fernando Alonso has said he finds it "funny" to be asked about the performance of former partners when they do well in Formula 1 and doesn't "care about them".

Alonso had a messy break-up with Ferrari before returning to McLaren in 2015, where he endured three long years with engine manufacturer Honda.

The Spaniard found himself answering the same old questions when he was asked for his thoughts on Toro Rosso-Honda's P4 finish in Bahrain and finds the whole thing rather humourous.

"I've been answering about Ferrari in 2015 and 2016," Alonso told reporters in China.

"After I left Ferrari, every win, every podium they were achieving, you asked me about if I regretted when I left Ferrari.

"After four years Mercedes keep winning and they have four championships and now you are not asking me about Ferrari, you've changed for Toro Rosso.

"Or Renault, in 2005 and 2006 I won two championships with them and now they are competitive again.

"I don't care so much about other teams. It's just funny how people get excited about the ex-teams when they are OK.

"They ask me and I don't care too much."

On Toro Rosso-Honda's P4 in Bahrain, he did add: "[Bahrain] was a very nice weekend for them.

"To be honest, after 18 years in Formula 1, to answer after one good qualifying or one good result from any team makes no sense."

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Ferrari aggressive with Baku tyre choices

Ferrari are amongst those with the most aggressive tyre strategy for next weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.

Both World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen have 10 sets of the quickest ultrasoft tyre at their disposal for the weekend, alongside Sauber pair Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson, as well as McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne.

Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have one fewer set of the ultras available, while Red Bull are the most conservative team of the top three with eight sets available to both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Full list:

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Ferrari reiterate threat to quit Formula 1

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has once again said that the Scuderia will quit Formula 1 if the owners and the FIA head toward a NASCAR style series.

In Bahrain, Liberty revealed their ultimate vision for Formula 1 once the current Concorde Agreement ends following the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Whilst only general outlines were made available to the press and fans, it is understood the teams got a little more specific information about where the owners want to take the sport in the future.

But Ferrari, who were less than impressed by the initial outline proposed in November, have continued to make their stance very clear.

"If F1 becomes more of a spectacle than a sport, if we go in the direction of NASCAR races, then Ferrari will leave," Marchionne said at a shareholders' meeting in Amsterdam, via AFP.

"If there are any proposals that distort F1, I think Ferrari will pull out."

Meanwhile, Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene is a little more conservative.

"We are working with Liberty Media to find acceptable solutions," he said.

"We had a proposal from Liberty 10 days ago, we expect to know the details and then we will make choices in the interest of Ferrari.

"We could look for alternative solutions, it's not a threat, but it does not mean we stop shopping."

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