Horner: Retaining Ricciardo, Max the priority

Helmut Marko may be ready to say goodbye Daniel Ricciardo, but Christian Horner says he hopes to persaude the driver to re-sign with Red Bull after 2018.

Marko recently stated that Red Bull “have to look for alternatives” for Ricciardo as he is “already on the market”.

Ricciardo has been linked to a move to Ferrari where he would team up with former team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

But while the Red Bull advisor doesn’t seem to mind if Ricciardo moves on when his contract expires at the end of next season, Horner has made it clear that he wants him to stay on.

“We love having both drivers in the team and our priority is to make sure they’re with us for some time to come,” Horner told Sky F1.

“It’s the first time Daniel is effectively out of a contract, he’s been with Red Bull for ten years, so it’ll be the first time he’s a free agent.

“It doesn’t mean he wants to leave or it doesn’t mean that we want him to go anywhere else, or that we want anybody else.

“Our priority is to keep those two drivers.”

Max Verstappen is also contracted to Red Bull for 2018 with Mercedes and Ferrari reportedly lining up ‘£20million-a-year’ bids to persuade him to jump ship.

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