Red Bull warn Mercedes not to approach Daniel Ricciardo to replace Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025, replacing Carlos Sainz, whose future remains unclear.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has insisted that Daniel Ricciardo is not an option for Mercedes next year, as he’s under a “long-term contract” with the Austrians.

Ricciardo returned to Red Bull as their development driver at the start of 2023 following the termination of his deal at McLaren; however, he found himself in a race seat again mid-season.

The eight-time Formula 1 race winner was chosen as Nyck de Vries’ replacement at AlphaTauri – known now as Visa Cash App RB (VCARB) – and performed well enough to be offered the seat for 2024.

Ricciardo has settled back into the Red Bull sister team extremely well and is viewed as a great person to have in the side following their rebrand.

READ: Felipe Massa told he has ‘personal right’ to take Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 title

It’s no secret, though, that Ricciardo has bigger ambitions than racing for VCARB, as he’s openly admitted that he wants to race for Red Bull again.

With Sergio Perez being out of contract at the conclusion of 2024, a strong season for Ricciardo could put him in with a shot of promotion for the second time in his F1 career.

Regardless of whether Red Bull promote him in 2025 or not, Marko has stressed that Mercedes are not allowed to poach the Australian to replace Lewis Hamilton, who is leaving the Silver Arrows at the end of this year.

Hamilton is switching to Ferrari for 2025 after signing a “multi-year” contract, which will take him into the new power unit regulations in 2026 with the Italians.

Article continues below

Mercedes will likely want a big name to replace the seven-time World Champion, something Ricciardo certainly is.

However, it won’t be the 34-year-old alongside George Russell at Mercedes in 2025.

READ: Who will replace Lewis Hamilton in 2025?

“Ricciardo still has a long-term contract and is not available (for Mercedes),” Marko told publication F1 Insider.

The main drivers to have been linked with Hamilton’s seat so far are Alex Albon, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso, with all three being without a contract currently for 2025.

Despite being without a deal, Albon and Alonso will both stand a great chance of being offered a new deal by their current teams, whilst Sainz must find a new team as it’s him who Hamilton is replacing.