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Lack of Hamilton announcement the only hold-up in Ricciardo/Red Bull deal

Written by  Jul 04, 2018

The wait for Lewis Hamilton to finally confirm his new deal with Mercedes is the only thing holding up Daniel Ricciardo from signing a new Red Bull deal.

That is the claim of team boss Christian Horner as the story of the Australian's future in Formula 1 beyond 2018 continues to rumble on.

Last Sunday in Austria, Ricciardo was seen exiting a private meeting with Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz with many believing that could have been the moment a new deal was signed that will see him remain with the Milton Keynes outfit.

Though that is not thought to be the case, Horner insists the gap is closing between the team and driver.

“We’ve now got to the point where there is a desire from both sides to continue the relationship,” the team boss told AAP.

“So it’s just a matter of now really going through the detail and coming to a conclusion which will certainly be done prior to the summer break.”

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Internally, it appears the biggest consideration the 29-year-old has had regards the decision by Red Bull to use Honda engines in 2019 and 2020, the likely length of his new deal.

"He’s seen and understood the decision making behind where we’ve gone,” Horner added.

Yet his concluding statement suggests the possibility of Hamilton potentially pulling a Rosberg and calling time on his F1 career remains somewhat of a distraction.

“Hopefully, the rest of it becomes a formality, unless Lewis announces his retirement at the British Grand Prix this weekend.”

Speaking on Austrian TV ahead of the race in Spielberg though, Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda stated: 

“I guarantee that in the coming year Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will drive for Mercedes,” he told broadcaster ORF. “That is settled.”

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