That is according to ex-Formula One driver Mark Webber, who says his fellow Australian could leave Red Bull at the end of the season.
Ricciardo is into the final 12 months of his contract with Red Bull but there has been much speculation that the rising star could move on to pastures new to try and challenge for the Drivers’ Championship.
Lewis Hamilton will may have a spare seat on his team in 2019 as Valtteri Bottas’ contract is up at the end of the year.
And Webber says he could see Ricciardo swapping teams, even if he does not have a successful season this time out.
“He is safe in F1,” Webber told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s just a question if he is wants the absolute perfect team in 2019 and trying to get the No 1 status somewhere in those teams.
“That’s what he would love to achieve.”
Red Bull have indicated that they would like to keep the 28-year-old.
But they have hinted about a possible engine change next year which could deter Ricciardo from signing a new deal.
“Red Bull, do they know how to put a championship together? Absolutely. They are crafty, in the trenches, they will use every trick in the book,” Webber added.
“They know what to do to put a long campaign together.
“It’s just whether Renault can sustain the blow torch of the amount of horsepower and consistency and reliability that Mercedes have over the course of a long campaign.
“Then they have a big decision to make at Red Bull of what they do with their engine themselves.
“That’s going to be another thing playing out in Daniel’s decision-making process.”