Australian Daniel Ricciardo has signed a contract extension with Red Bull Racing until the end of the 2018 season, the team has confirmed.

Having been heavily linked with a move to Ferrari next year, Red Bull Racing has activated a performance clause written into Ricciardi’s contract to lock him into the team for two more seasons.

“Daniel is under contract,” Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner confirmed.

“When Daniel joined Red Bull he had a five-year agreement, we are in year three leaving two to go. Of course, in these contracts are performance-related clauses but he’s performing pretty well at the moment.”

Ricciardo’s position in the team started to become unclear after he expressed his frustration towards Red Bull Racing, blaming the team for tactical errors which cost him a chance at victory in Spain and Monaco. The Australian also warned the team last week in Canada that he may leave if they didn’t provide him with a championship-winning package.

However, with an overhaul in the aero regulations for 2017, Ricciardo decided to stay with the team which helped him through his junior career as Red Bull Racing should pose as Mercedes’ greatest threat next year given their recent success with aerodynamic packages.

“At the moment this looks like being the best place to be,” Ricciardo said.

“The contract was always long term and in a way it was always that length.

“But it’s performance based and obviously Helmut [Marko, Red Bull’s driver adviser] and the team are happy with what l am doing and happy with me and Max [Verstappen] and want to keep us on board.

“If Mercedes don’t make changes there is nowhere else that looks that attractive. With the rules next year, l think it’s going to be a strong fit and l hope we can really fight for a title in 2017.”

Image via Red Bull Content Pool

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Josh Kruse

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