Ricciardo not ready to sign new Renault deal

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Image: AFP
Image: AFP

Daniel Ricciardo says he is not ready to sign a contract extension at Renault.

In the past days, the Australian denied that he might be a contender to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari, due to his new two-year Renault deal.

But Ricciardo has also expressed concern about Renault's progress.

"Patience is the keyword at this stage of my career," the former Red Bull driver told Corriere della Sera.

"Overall it's been positive, even if it's also been a difficult year.  But I accepted the challenge because I needed something fresh.

"It's a change that allows me to improve as a driver and a person.

"I was under no illusions.  You don't just start winning overnight.  I wanted to get out of my comfort zone even if that meant taking a risk.

"What was for sure is that I wouldn't have fought for the world championship.  At most, I would have been on the podium," Ricciardo added.

The implication is that at the time of his decision, all the momentum at Red Bull had been in the direction of Max Verstappen.

In that way, Ricciardo says he relates to Sebastian Vettel's current situation.

"Maybe it's similar to how I felt a year ago," said Ricciardo.  "Frustrated and vulnerable."

But even though he is now at Renault, 30-year-old Ricciardo says he wouldn't currently jump at the chance to sign a new deal to keep him in yellow beyond 2020.

"Right now, the answer is no.  But not because I don't trust Renault," he said.

"I want to wait for the second part of the season.  I expect some signs," Ricciardo explained.  I would like us to be fighting with McLaren for fourth place."

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