Ricciardo rules himself out for Mercedes

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Daniel Ricciardo.

Mercedes are yet to name who they want as Lewis Hamilton’s new partner, although reports say they are chasing Valtteri Bottas from Williams.

Ricciardo, who finished third in the 2016 drivers’ championship behind Rosberg and Hamilton, said he wasn’t about to jump ship.

“I’ve got two more years at Red Bull. That’s where I’m going to be,” he told reporters in Perth.

“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 (Melbourne) in a Red Bull.”

Mercedes communications chief Bradley Lord said last week there would be no announcement until next year, following Rosberg’s shock retirement this month.

His comments came as French media reported Felipe Massa was in talks with Williams about reversing his decision to retire, which would free up 27-year-old Bottas to switch to Mercedes.

Massa, 35, retired from Formula One at the end of the season, but French sports daily L’Equipe has said he is in talks for another year with Williams.

One of the two seats at Williams has already been taken by rookie Lance Stroll, 18.

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Symonds to leave Williams

F1i 20/12/2016
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Symonds will exit at the end of the season.

Symonds joined in 2013 and helped lead the team to consecutive third-place finishes in the constructors’ championship before it slipped to fifth place this year.

Coming to the end of his three-year contract, Williams has now confirmed the 63-year-old will leave the team on December 31.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams praised Symonds for the impact he has had on the team since his arrival.

“Pat has been a tremendous asset to this team over the past three years,” Williams said. “Pat’s appointment was the start of a major restructuring exercise, and he has been pivotal in reshaping Williams into what is a much stronger racing team today.

“I would like to thank him for all of his hard work and commitment during that time. We now look to the future and will be announcing details regarding the team’s technical leadership in due course.”

Williams has been linked with a move for Mercedes executive director [technical] Paddy Lowe, who is believed to be moving closer to a senior technical role at Grove.

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LISTEN: Inside Line F1 podcast

Kunal Shah 20/12/2016
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Force India star Perez talks to the guys.

After bringing to you Nico ‘The Hulk’ Hulkenberg last week, we have Mexican star Sergio Perez in this podcast.

‘Checo’ reveals his favourite radio message and the prank he played on his former team, Sauber. And of course, there is no prizes for guessing which driver’s radio he would enjoying listening to the most.

Apart from Checo’s bytes, Mithila and Kunal discuss how Felipe Massa might just go from Formula One’s ‘shortest ever’ (in terms of time) World Champion to logging the sport’s ‘shortest ever’ (again, in terms of time) retirement. To think of it, it was Jenson Button who was seeking a sabbatical and not Massa!

We empathize with Pascal Wehrlein after he was snubbed by Force India, Mercedes and now possibly Williams too.

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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