Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Ricciardo 'offered' mega deal to join McLaren

Alonso has said he will not make up his mind on his future until mid-summer, but has said he finds the predictability of F1 "sad".

Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen singed a new long-term deal with the team that raised his salary to $10m a season, over three years.

Already a Monaco GP victor, that leaves only the Indy 500 for him to become only the second driver in history after Graham Hill to win all three events. Lewis touched on it, I didn't even need to say it, the value...your value as a driver, it's not about X amount of money, it's just what you feel your value is and what you bring to the sport. "At the moment I am enjoying Le Mans and not taking too much into account next year".

Express Sport approached McLaren for a response to the reports but were told: "We never comment on driver matters".

Next year McLaren will be the only Renault customer, but Sainz insists that the Enstone team already knows in what areas it needs to improve.

Will Alonso potentially walking away from F1 open a door for Ricciardo? Probably in the next two weeks would be ideal for them.

Ricciardo has won two races for Red Bull, who say they want to keep him in 2019, and is fourth in the championship.

"Looking at the performance they showed this year and the improvements they made - especially in Canada again - it looked very positive", said Verstappen.

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Daniel Ricciardo is the hottest property on the grid in Formula 1, with the Australian off-contract with Red Bull.

"There is definitely interest (from other teams)".

"There is a lot to add up".

The Australian, who turns 29 next month, believes his next long-term deal will be his last and he wants to be in the best auto possible so that he can challenge for a F1 World Drivers' Championship: despite his widely-acknowledged talents, he has never finished better than third in the standings.

Magnifying this speculation was the fact that right around this time, Red Bull Racing indicated that they did now want their Renault engine supply to go beyond the conclusion of the 2018 season. Both Mercedes drivers of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Ferrrai's Kimi Räikkönen all have their deals ending at the end of the year.

However, Marko stressed a move to Mercedes or Ferrari would nearly ensure Ricciardo would go without equal footing to Hamilton or Vettel, even though it appears likely Red Bull will throw their weight behind Verstappen's side of the garage, just like they did with Vettel over Mark Webber some years ago.

"It's a bit unusual".

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