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According to Horner, Ricciardo has until August to decided whether or not he wants to stay with Red Bull Racing following the conclusion of the 2018 season.

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"There should be a decision by the summer break at the latest".

"We do not want to wait forever", Horner told Auto Motor Und Sport.

While the mass talent production from the Red Bull junior programme seems to have slowed in recent years, the team still have many options to replace Ricciardo - that is, if they wish to stick to their usual internal policy. "If nothing has happened since then.if it's only then Red Bull, then that's where I am".

"If someone said, "we will let you in here, but you can't do this", that is not an attractive option for me". "I'm obviously super aware and invested in what I want and where I see myself, but a far as the real, in-depth talks and all that, it's best for me not to really focus on that too much". He is under contract to us. "But we proved that if we can be up there then we can do a lot with it".

Rumours have linked Ricciardo with both Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport and Scuderia Ferrari as a possible replacement for Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, although Ricciardo has expressed a desire to stay put...if Red Bull can provide a worthy auto.

Even before his stunning Shanghai victory, charging through from sixth in an overtaking masterclass, there were rumours that Ricciardo had agreed an option with the Scuderia.

He has expressed his satisfaction with the environment and harmony within the Red Bull team, implying he is happy where he is.

Asked specifically about media reports saying he had a pre-agreement with Ferrari for an exclusive negotiating period, the 28-year-old added: "That's not true". Up until that time, neither party can officially negotiate with another.

But with his contract up at the end of 2018, there appears to be a three-way battle to secure his services.

With his current contract at Red Bull expiring at the end of this season, Ricciardo is known to have admirers in the paddock - and both the Prancing Horse and fellow F1 championship rivals Mercedes are among those reportedly keeping an eye on developments.