Daniel Ricciardo (left) and Sebastian Vettel on the podium after the Belgian GP.
Daniel Ricciardo (left) and Sebastian Vettel on the podium after the Belgian GP. SRDJAN SUKI

'No playing second fiddle': why Dan would reject Ferrari

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 No.1 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.

"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 ahead of this weekend's Italian GP.

"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% I'm not signing there. It's something you'd talk about in early negotiations.

"For sure, Seb is happy with his teammate. 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 hopes to challenge Vettel and Lewis Hamilton at the Italian GP 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 that 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 "No.2", the 28-year-old admits he needs to think about the future in his quest to claim a first world championship.

News Corp Australia

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