Mercedes move was 'tempting' for Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo was tempted by a move to Mercedes, but said he would "risk a bet" that Red Bull can end their rival's dominance this year.

The Australian was among the drivers linked with the seat at Mercedes following world champion Nico Rosberg's shock retirement.

Valtteri Bottas was confirmed as Lewis Hamilton's new team-mate this month, with Ricciardo having vowed to remain loyal to Red Bull.

Ricciardo said the Mercedes vacancy was bound to stir plenty of interest, but the 27-year-old was happy to stay put as he thinks he stands a good chance of winning a first drivers' title in 2017.

He told the official F1 website: "It was a crazy position it put Mercedes in. I'm sure every driver called, or thought about calling Toto [Wolff] and Niki [Lauda].

"It's been interesting to see it evolve and now Bottas has his big chance. We'll see how he goes. For me, I am best where I am: at Red Bull Racing."

Asked how enticing it was to put himself in the frame for a move to Mercedes, he replied: "Tempting for sure, to have a feeling of how that car works. But 2017 is a new year and I'm hoping my car will now be the championship one.

"I think 2016 was really encouraging for the whole team. We found ourselves fighting again for wins, podiums and pole positions. It was a great step closer to where we want to return to.

"And from what I hear about the new car, I would definitely risk a bet in our favour."