Daniel Ricciardo rules out joining Mercedes next Formula One season

Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo has ruled out filling the “damn good” seat at Mercedes next season, saying he is committed to Red Bull for the next two years.

Mercedes are on the lookout for a new driver to team with Lewis Hamilton following the shock retirement of world champion Nico Rosberg and the team were rumoured to be interested in luring Ricciardo their way, but the 27-year-old says he’s staying put at Red Bull.

“I’ve got two more years at Red Bull. That’s where I’m going to be,” Ricciardo said in Perth on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of people that are tempted to jump into that (Mercedes) seat, and you don’t blame them. I just hope whoever gets it appreciates it. It’s a damn good one. But for me, you’ll see me at Albert Park in a Red Bull.”

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas is expected to join Mercedes, who were a class above their rivals this year. As part of the musical chairs, Felipe Massa is set to come out of retirement to rejoin Williams in place of Bottas.

Ricciardo said he looked back at his 2016 campaign very fondly, despite Red Bull’s cars falling well short of being able to consistently challenge Mercedes. The West Australian finished third in the championship race, with his sole victory coming at the Malaysian Grand Prix.