Daniel Ricciardo won't join Ferrari to be Sebastian Vettel's 'bridesmaid'
Ricciardo has been tipped for Ferrari move in 2019 but tells Sky Sports that he wouldn't play second fiddle to Vettel
By Matt Morlidge and Sky Sport News' Craig Slater
Last Updated: 31/08/17 4:04pm
Daniel Ricciardo insists he would not join Ferrari if it meant playing second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo is under contract at Red Bull until the end of 2018 but has been tipped for a Ferrari seat once Kimi Raikkonen departs, in a move that would see him partner Vettel for the second time.
He dominated the four-time world champion three years ago, but Vettel has since established himself as Ferrari's number one driver, with Kimi Raikkonen playing a supporting role.
And that is a situation Ricciardo would simply not accept, claiming he would never be the "bridesmaid" after establishing himself in Formula 1.
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"I haven't thought that far ahead to be honest, in terms of what the quality would be like if I was there," the Australian told Sky Sports News' Craig Slater. "But if you were in that negotiation process with a team then that's the first thing you'd talk about. Equal equipment, no playing second fiddle.
"Obviously I'm in a position where I believe I should be fighting for the front. If a team said 'we'll sign you but you're going to play bridesmaid to this guy,' 100 per cent I'm not signing there. It's something you'd talk about in early negotiations.
"For sure, Seb is happy with his team-mate. That's clear to everyone."
Vettel has recently signed a new three-year-deal at Maranello and will partner Raikkonen for at least another year following the Finn's renewal.
Ricciardo was speaking to Slater in an entertaining and energetic interview ahead of this weekend's Italian GP, where he hopes to challenge Vettel and Lewis Hamilton after sealing his sixth 2017 podium in Belgium.
However, that might be difficult at a power-hungry Monza circuit where engine performance is crucial, in a Renault-powered Red Bull which Ricciardo accepts is nowhere near the level of Mercedes and Ferrari on these tracks.
And while he would not be willing to join the Scuderia to be their 'Number Two', the 28-year-old admits he needs to think about the future in his quest to claim a first world championship.
"I'm definitely in this sport to be successful," Ricciardo added. "For me, success is now winning a world title. I've been fortunate to win some races and get the closest thing to it but the point now is to win enough in a season where it leads to a world title.
"It's something that we keep our eyes open for, and you want to put yourself in that position. Sometimes it's a bit of luck.
"When Lewis left McLaren [to join Mercedes] everyone thought he was crazy but look where it's put him now. So you've also got to read the play and see what happens in a few years time as opposed to just next year."
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