Australia’s 1980 Formula One world champion Alan Jones has high hopes that Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula One future is with Ferrari as teammate to four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo and Vettel spent 2014 as teammates at Red Bull Racing, with Ricciardo having the upper hand over reigning world champion Vettel, and winning three Grands Prix in Canada, Hungary and Belgium.
Vettel jumped to Ferrari last season and finished third in the world championship behind Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but Jones feels Ricciardo could be reunited with Vettel as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at the sport’s most iconic team.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Jones said: “Kimi’s a little bit lucky to (still) be there, but I think Ferrari have done the right thing.
“They’ve obviously got plans for what they’re going to do next year, which I hope is going to be Daniel Ricciardo.
“They’re probably thinking ‘stick with the known factor, we’ve got Vettel, we’ve got Kimi’. (Kimi) does on occasion put up a good race, so I think they’ve done the right thing.
“But in terms of Daniel, I’m really confident (and) hopeful that he’ll land that Ferrari seat next year.”
With the 2016 season set to roar into life with the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix this weekend in Melbourne, Jones believes Mercedes won’t have it all their own way this year as they attempt to annex a hat-trick of drivers’ and constructors’ titles.
“I think Mercedes are doing their old tricks – I think they’ve been sandbagging, and I think they’ve been doing laps (in testing) with full tanks (of fuel) and so on,” he said.
“But I think even they will admit that they’re a little bit wary of Ferrari. At the end of the day I still think it’s going to be Mercedes, but I’m hoping that Ferrari are going to take it to them.”
Episode 48 of ‘Keeping Track’ also spoke to two-time Australian Grand Prix winner David Coulthard, along with Geelong AFL captain and event ambassador to the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Joel Selwood.
Listen here – and leave your feedback.