Wednesday, 11 july 2018, 10:41 , by Matthew Scott
Daniel Ricciardo is happy to remain at Red Bull, even if he is not guaranteed the position of number-one driver in the team. Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have been allowed to race as equals during their time together, arguably at odds with the treatment meted out to drivers at their rivals Mercedes and Ferrari.
Both the Silver Arrows and Ferrari have apparent hierarchies, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel enjoying favour over Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, although the statuses are not quite as explicit as some in the past - notably Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari in the early 2000s.
Ricciardo is expected to sign a new deal at Red Bull before the mid-season break at the end of July, having seen reported interest from Mercedes and Ferrari fizzle out.
Verstappen is seen as the golden boy in Red Bull, and has claimed that he is Helmut Marko's next title-winning "project" after Vettel, but Ricciardo sees no reason to feel inferior to the Dutchman despite a failure to score a podium since winning the Monaco Grand Prix.
"Not that I don't want that [number-one status] but I don't need that, it's all right," Ricciardo said.
"Obviously Max is driving well but I genuinely think there have been things every weekend since Monaco which have just been a bit of a disruption or a bit of bad luck.
"Like the front wing and all that with Paul Ricard. Just pisses me off."
A last-gasp big-money offer from McLaren is thought to be the only thing standing between Ricciardo and signing fresh terms at Red Bull and the Australian admitted ahead of the British grand Prix that the lack of an offer from the team's biggest rivals had surprised him.
"It's obviously looking more likely I'll probably remain, but there still hasn't been any pen to paper" said Ricciardo. "[I'm] still trying to get a few last things sorted.
"Not every door is closed, but it's looking more and more likely that the other top teams will probably remain with their line-up.
"I don't have the facts on that, but you kind of just read between the lines and you feel that's probably going to remain."