In Brief

F1 digest: Daniel Ricciardo to sign new Red Bull contract before Belgium GP

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has loved the season so far and Lewis Hamilton plays down title talk

Ricciardo set to sign new deal

Daniel Ricciardo will “definitely” sign a new contract with Red Bull.

The Australian’s current deal expires at the end of the season and he expects new terms to be agreed during Formula 1’s summer break. He told Sky Sports an announcement will be made before the next F1 Grand Prix in Belgium on 26 August. 

“It will definitely be done by Spa,” said Ricciardo. “Whether it gets announced over the summer break or in Spa [I don’t know].

“It’s just a little bit of fine tuning here and there. It’s all good. You will hear something soon, I’m sure.”

Ricciardo, 29, has won two races this season - China and Monaco - and is currently fifth in the F1 drivers’ standings on 118 points. 

Wolff: a great season so far  

There’s still nine races left in the campaign but Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff already believes that the 2018 season has been a “marvellous advertisement” for F1.

Quoted by Crash.net, he said: “The battle at the top is more exciting than ever before, and things are also very tight in the midfield. The races have not only produced some great wheel-to-wheel action on the track but also some surprise winners: seven of the 12 races so far were not necessarily won by the fastest car.

“All in all, I would say that the 2018 season has been a marvellous advertisement for the sport.”

Hamilton: I don’t have one hand on the title

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton says it’s too early to start thinking about the F1 championship despite having a 24-point lead over nearest challenger Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes driver Hamilton is the favourite to win the title but he feels that Vettel and Ferrari cannot be taken lightly, the Daily Express reports.

Hamilton said: “I think it’s far too early and you’ve seen the ups and downs we’ve had from this year. You’ve been ahead by some points and behind some points. But we have learned a lot. I don’t believe there’s ever a moment that you’ve got your hands on the title or the trophy.”

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