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Daniel Ricciardo: No truth to Ferrari contract rumours

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All you need to know about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix (0:48)

Jennie Gow brings you the pick of the facts and stats about the Grand Prix in Baku. (0:48)

Daniel Ricciardo has denied reports which circulated this week that he is in negotiations with Ferrari about a race seat in 2019.

Ricciardo is the key player in this year's driver market as he is out of contract at the end of 2018. Red Bull has given the Australian driver until August to decide on whether to accept its offer of an extension, amid links to Ferrari and reigning world champions Mercedes.

This week, Italian media suggested Ricciardo had signed a 'pre-agreement' deal with Ferrari giving both parties exclusive negotiating rights until June 30, but he was quick to quash those rumours ahead of this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"That's not true, I can say that," Ricciardo said on Thursday when asked about the reports.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport also claimed he is asking for an £18 million-a-season contract to take him through to 2020, but Ricciardo insisted he has not spoken to any rival teams yet.

"I've only had talks with Red Bull. Even last year we were pretty open with each other, I think through the media they are interested in keeping me. We've had some talks. I'm aware of other reports, but there hasn't been anything else, they're not true, at least up until now."

Ricciardo has been answering questions about his future for most of the year and has repeatedly stated that his decision will be based on getting a car capable of winning a championship, something he reiterated.

"I think the curiosity will not overcome the facts, I guess, in terms of what options I will have and which car is ultimately the fastest I can be with. That's ultimately top of my list. I wouldn't just go somewhere else for change, if I did move on then I would want to make sure for something would be potentially be better. But that's all really."

Despite pulling off a thrilling win in China, Ricciardo believes it is impossible to judge whether Red Bull's RB14 is good enough to mount a sustained championship challenge this year.

"We haven't seen enough from everyone yet. I'm not thinking about the championship in that sense, I obviously want to think about being there. Naturally because we won everyone is asking 'can you fight for the championship now' but it's still early. But we proved that if we can be up there then we can do a lot with it."

U.S. TV broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Practice 1 - Friday, April 27 - 04.55am - ESPN3
Practice 2 - Friday, April 27 - 08.55am - ESPN3

Practice 3 - Saturday, April 28 - 05.55am - ESPN2
Qualifying - Saturday, April 28 - 08.55am - ESPN2

On The Grid - Sunday, April 29 - 07.30am - ESPN2
Race - Sunday, April 29 - 08.05am - ESPN2
Encore - Sunday, April 29 - 07.30pm - ESPNEWS
Encore - Sunday, April 29 - 10.00pm - ESPN2