Daniel Riccardo’s options beyond 2020 are uncertain following recent news that Ferrari could pull the pin on their time in the Formula One because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was at the centre of this, saying that should budget caps be further slashed, Ferrari may not be able to continue.
Teams agreed on a budget cap of $277 million ($145m US) for 2021, but with the pandemic and the impact it has had on the economy, further cuts are not out of the question.
According to recent reports, the budget cap could be set at $230 million for 2021 and then reduced to $206 million in 2022.
“The 145m US dollars level is already a new and demanding request compared to what was set out last June,” Binotto said.
“It cannot be attained without further significant sacrifices, especially in terms of our human resources. If it was to get even lower, we would not want to be put in a position of having to look at other further options for deploying our racing DNA.
“F1 has to be the pinnacle of motorsport in terms of technology and performance. It must be attractive for the car manufacturers and the sponsors who want to be linked to this most prestigious category.
“If we restrict costs excessively then we run the risk of reducing the level considerably, bringing it ever closer to the lower formulae.”
At the conclusion of this season, Ricciardo is off-contract, and Binotto’s comments leave Ricciardo in the dark after reports surfaced that Ricciardo was being linked to a move to Ferrari.
Ricciardo also hasn’t ruled out a move back to Red Bull.
“I actually haven’t really been asked that one,” he said.
“Would I rule out going back to Red Bull? I guess, to answer it: you know, no.”
Sebastian Vettel has been given two weeks to finalise a deal to remain with Ferrari, and if that would not been sorted, Ricciardo’s name was floated around as a potential replacement.
But, because of the coronavirus pandemic, serious doubt has been casted about Ferrari’s further existence in F1 after Binotto’s comments.
Ricciardo joins Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas as the star names who are off-contract at the end of the year.