By Alan Baldwin
BAKU (Reuters) – Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed media speculation of a pre-agreement with Ferrari that could see him switch from Red Bull to the Italian Formula One team next season.
The Australian has so far only talked about his future with Red Bull, he told reporters in Baku on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix .
“I’m aware of other reports, but there hasn’t been anything else, so they’re not true. At least until now,” said Ricciardo, winner in China two weeks ago and at last year’s chaotic Baku race.
Asked specifically about media reports saying he had a pre-agreement with Ferrari for an exclusive negotiating period, the 28-year-old added: “That’s not true.”
Britain’s Motorsport magazine recently reported that Ferrari had an option allowing it exclusive negotiations with Ricciardo up to a defined date, believed to be the end of June.
The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season, as is Kimi Raikkonen, who currently partners four times world champion Sebastian Vettel — Ricciardo’s previous team mate at Red Bull — at Ferrari.
Ricciardo has also been linked to Mercedes as a possible team mate for Britain’s four times world champion Lewis Hamilton.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by David Goodman)