DANIEL Ricciardo says he is "very likely" to sign a new deal with Red Bull.

The Australian is out of contract at the end of the season and is understood to have been offered a significant pay rise at McLaren.

But with the doors at Ferrari and Mercedes failing to open, Ricciardo has confirmed he is on the brink of signing a new deal with Red Bull.

"It is obviously looking more and more likely I will remain," said Riccardo. "But there still hasn't been pen to paper and we are just trying to get a few last things sorted."

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are expected to remain at Mercedes while Ferrari are thought to be resolved on appointing Sauber's Charles Leclerc as Sebastian Vettel's 2019 team-mate at the expense of Kimi Raikkonen.

"Not every door has closed but it is looking more and more likely that the other teams will remain with their line-ups," said Ricciardo. "I don't have the facts on that but you can read between the lines.

"If it wasn't Red Bull, they are the two most attractive options. So if they are not possible it's hard for me to be convinced there is a better option than Red Bull."

“You can read between the lines.”
“You can read between the lines.”

RED BULL STRUGGLE WITH SILVERSTONE

Ricciardo's disclosure is a welcome boost to the Red Bull team on a difficult weekend for the team just a week after Max Verstappen's win in Austria.

"I've said many times that I like having Daniel as a team-mate so for sure it is good," said Verstappen.

Red Bull's aggravation is that an increasing number of corners at Silverstone can be taken at full throttle, adding to the size of their power disadvantage from their Renault engines against the field-leading Mercedes and Ferrari units.

"What used to be a downforce circuit is now a horsepower circuit," said Ricciardo, who was also hampered by a DRS glitch. "Having a lot of downforce doesn't help us, we are losing down the straights. On any kind of horsepower circuit they have got quite a big buffer on us."

Red Bull are to switch to Honda engines next year in a bid to cure their power problem with Verstappen scathing about the amount of lap time lost from outright grunt.

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying 993385882
F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying 993385882

"If you miss 70-80 horsepower you are going to struggle," said Verstappen. "Also, with the cars we have now, two corners have become flat-out so it has become more and more difficult.

"If you lose more than a second on the straights you know it is going to be a tough weekend."

Asked if he could repeat his unexpected Austria triumph on race day at Silverstone, Verstappen replied: "Never say never but it is going to be tough."

Verstappen was also emphatic when it was suggested Red Bull may have a better chassis than Mercedes and Ferrari. "Absolutely," he replied.


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