Daniel Ricciardo has one less suitor should he decide not to accept, or should he not be offered a contract extension with Team Red Bull following the 2018 F1 racing season, because Team Mercedes has indicated that they are not interested in his services.
Mercedes Executive Director Toto “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” Wolff has ruled Ricciardo out for either of the two seats with F1’s dominant team.
Wolff said that his team would remain the same in 2019, meaning that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are secured for next season.
That may or may not be the case, as neither Mercedes driver has committed to staying with Mercedes. Hamilton is reportedly close to a new contract, but Bottas is still an x factor. If Big Bad Wolff has his facts straight, if Bottas bolts to another team, different racing code, or simply retires, Mercedes will look elsewhere for a new driver.
Just last week, Ricciardo indicated he would relish a job with Mercedes and he would like to get on a team where he stands a realistic chance of winning an F1 championship, which means Mercedes or Ferrari.
“I’d love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there,” the Australian said in remarks published by news.com.au. “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge,” Ricciardo said.
Wolff’s remarks to f1i.com have quashed the idea of Riccardo taking a seat with Mercedes.
“We are not looking at drivers outside of Mercedes at the moment because, first of all, we need to give our support to our two guys, that’s the priority. It’s like if you’re happy with your wife, you don’t look elsewhere! We are [happy] with our two wives — or three [including Esteban Ocon] – and we are not looking at that.”
Happy and two wives do not belong in the same sentence, for a couple of reasons, but that is most definitely not meant to be taken in anything even vaguely resembling a misogynistic manner.
It is more along the line of a Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield manner.