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Ricciardo deal could be signed before Hungary

Ricciardo deal could be signed before Hungary

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Ricciardo deal could be signed before Hungary

Ricciardo deal could be signed before Hungary

Daniel Ricciardo expects to have a new contract with Red Bull signed before Formula 1 goes away for its mid-season break. Ricciardo has been widely expected to remain with Red Bull for many weeks, and an announcement could be made before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Australian looked set to be a key player in the 2019 driver market in pre-season, with seats at Mercedes and Ferrari up for grabs.

However, Mercedes confirmed Valtteri Bottas as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate for next season tis week, while Charles Leclerc has emerged as favourite to head to Ferrari if Kimi Raikkonen departs.

With front-running options elsewhere disappearing, Ricciardo now has to put his faith in Red Bull's ability to fight at the front when they drop Renault for Honda power units in 2019.

"It's getting more realistic, I'd say," he replied when asked if his future would be decided by the end of next week.

"I think obviously the picture with everyone else is starting to be pretty clear, so obviously I'll focus on [this race] and then I guess probably early next week I'll try and get everything done."

Asked if signing the deal was his decision, he said: "The majority, I would say... The majority."

Bottas was signed to a one-year deal by Mercedes, with an option for 2020, and Ricciardo was plugged on whether the length of his Red Bull deal would be influenced by this.

"Maybe," he replied. "But really not looking at Bottas, just in general, there's obviously going to be some changes, I guess within the team as well, so... We'll see.

"I honestly haven't agreed to anything yet. I won't say any more, I'll shut up!"

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