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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he is close to signing a new contract with Red Bull because Mercedes and Ferrari are unlikely to offer him a deal for 2019.
Ricciardo has spent his entire Formula 1 career attached to Red Bull - he drove for Toro Rosso before making the switch to the senior team in 2014 - but his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
Despite being linked with both Ferrari and Mercedes, the Australian has yet to be offered a deal and it is looking increasing unlikely that either team will make a move for him.
Indeed, Mercedes are expected to retain the services of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with Sauber driver Charles Leclerc rumoured to be in the frame to partner Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari in 2019.
"Not every door is closed, but it's looking more and more likely that the other top teams will probably remain with their line ups," Ricciardo explained. "I don't have the facts on that but you can just kind of read between the lines and you feel that that is probably going to remain.
"So obviously if it wasn't Red Bull then they are the other two most attractive options, so if they are not possible, then for me now it is hard to be convinced that another option is better than Red Bull. So I'm just making sure that I'm right with my judgments."
Riccardo has made it clear that he is not looking for assurances that he will be the number one driver in order to sign a new deal, stating: "I don't want that. Not that I don't want that, I don't need that."
The German Grand Prix at Hockenheim will be shown live on eir sport 1 on Sunday, 22 July [start time 2.10pm Irish time]
Image: Getty Images/Mark Thompson
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