STICKING WITH THE BULLS: Daniel Ricciardo will stick with Red Bull until the end of 2018. Image: AP / The Canadian Press
Spielberg, Austria - Daniel Ricciardo on Thursday confirmed he will stay with Red Bull until the end of 2018.
The Australian, who will be 27 on Friday, told reporters that he felt Red Bull was the team most likely to challenge and replace champions Mercedes as Formula 1's strongest outfit.
He explained: "Looking to next year and spending time with the team, and what is ahead, I think it is the best place to be to try to challenge Mercedes - that is where it stems from.
"It is one that goes both sides. We want to win and this year is going to be tough for a world title, but where we are this year is where we are -- can't do anything about it now."
Ricciardo's revelation during a news conference ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix followed the team's confirmation this week that Spaniard Carlos Sainz has been retained for 2017 to drive with Toro Rosso.
The Australian's team mate, record-breaking Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, has also been confirmed as staying for next year following his promotion to the Red Bull team from Toro Rosso.
Russian Daniil Kvyat, who moved the other way in the same move, is expected to be confirmed as remaining with Toro Rosso.