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Rumours have certainly been swirling that Ricciardo has reached a pre-contract option with Scuderia Ferrari, enabling him to only deal with the Italian outfit for a set period.

"That's not true, I can say that", Ricciardo clarified at Thursday's media conference ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull could swap engine suppliers next season with Christian Horner acknowledging that they have "options" for the future.

These included a 'road rage" incident involving Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton after the German accused the Briton of "brake-testing' him.

"Even previous year we had been pretty open with each other". We've had some talks.

"I'm aware of other reports, but there hasn't been anything else so they are not true".

Ricciardo, the six-time Formula 1 race victor who has driven for the team since the 2014 season after spending two seasons driving for the Red Bull Racing junior team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, as a full-time driver in the 2012 season and the 2013 season, is the hottest free agent on the market with his contract set to expire following the conclusion of the 2018 season.

More news: Forecast: Temps dip overnight; rain possible Friday afternoon

Asked if Lewis Hamilton's shock move from McLaren to Mercedes for 2013 caused curiosity were he to make similarly controversial move, Ricciardo replied: "Curiosity will not overcome the fact in terms of what options I will have and which auto will be the fastest, which is obviously top of my list".

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

Sainz, who impressed next to Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso, is on a one-year loan at Renault while Pierre Gasly has started the season in impressive form at the junior team. "If I did move on I'd obviously want to make sure it was something that I feel would be potentially better".

"At some point, you have just got to weigh up what does what, but regardless there will always be something".

"At the moment what I'm chasing is to try and be world champion". That doesn't mean that where I am now is not that place, but I think that's why I'm trying to take my time with it.

"The most obvious is Carlos Sainz", Horner added. I'll always show love nonetheless. "I don't feel I need to push anything until then".


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