Daniel Ricciardo says China win cannot be only one in F1 2018
Chinese GP victor now determined to build on first 2018 win so Red Bull remains "very attractive" amid key 2019 contract decision
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 18/04/18 7:33pm
Daniel Ricciardo has warned his sensational Chinese GP win will not in isolation be enough for him to sign a new contract at Red Bull.
The Australian, out of contract at the end of the season, did his negotiating position no harm by claiming Red Bull's first win of the season after taking advantage of their change of strategy under the Safety Car to overtake five drivers in the space of nine laps.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner said after his driver's victory: "If we can give him a car like we did today, why would he want to be anywhere else?"
But Ricciardo, who turns 29 in July and has said on several occasions he feels ready to win a world championship, said he needs the Shanghai result to be the rule rather than the exception.
"I want to be with the best car because I think the weekend proved that if I got the opportunity I can pull it off, I can handle that pressure and that intensity," Ricciardo told Australia's Channel 10.
"If we can win a few more now with Red Bull, then that looks very attractive. If not, then I guess there's probably other options.
"Obviously the win helps but if we were finishing sixth every race this year, then that's not the most attractive option to me."
Ricciardo is the only driver in history to win the first six grands prix of his career when starting outside the top three on the grid, but has only once claimed more than one win in a single season (2014) in his five years at Red Bull.
However, Red Bull's previous opening victories in the current hybrid turbo engine era have never before been achieved before the fifth round.
With team-mate Max Verstappen last year extending his Red Bull contract to 2020, Red Bull already have won race-winning driver on their books for next season but have made clear their determination to hold on to Ricciardo too.
Team advisor Helmut Marko told Sky Sports News during winter testing that they had "agreed with him a deadline" to decide on whether or not Ricciardo would sign a deal for 2019.
With the futures of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen at Mercedes and Ferrari respectively uncertain beyond the end of this season, Ricciardo's situation is likely to be monitored by both of Red Bull's biggest rivals.
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Speaking after Sunday's race, Horner questioned Ferrari's use of Raikkonen after they extended the Finn's first stint in an apparent attempt to help team-mate Sebastian Vettel's race.
"If you look at Kimi's race, I didn't understand that strategy," added Horner. "I think Daniel's happy in the environment."
Who will come out on top in round four of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull's battle for supremacy in F1 2018? Watch the Azerbaijan GP live on Sky Sports F1 from April 27-29. Get Sky Sports F1.
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