Ricciardo: Verstappen deal hasn't "hurt me in any way"
Daniel Ricciardo says that Max Verstappen's new Red Bull Racing deal has opened up more future options for him – and that he can now afford to wait to sort out his own future until well into next season.
While Verstappen’s early agreement for 2019 and 2020 suggests that Red Bull was more determined to get the Dutchman signed up for the future, the team is also keen to retain Ricciardo.
At the same time, with Verstappen off the market, Ricciardo is now a prime candidate for Mercedes and Ferrari.
Ricciardo admitted that he has gained from the situation, and thus he’s now in no rush to sort out his future.
“I don’t think it’s hurt me in any way,” he said. “If anything it has made my position a bit stronger. If Max was on the radar of a Ferrari or Mercedes, that’s removed one opponent in a way. And obviously Red Bull have expressed that they want to keep us as a pairing.
"It certainly hasn’t hurt me, and I think I can be patient for now. I’ve obviously got the start of next season on my side, I can see where we are at as well, with Red Bull, and then play it out.
"I’m not going to pull the trigger on anything early. I think I should be smart and take my time.”
Ricciardo says he has no concerns about the widespread perception that Red Bull is now being built around Verstappen as the team starts to target a World Championship campaign once more.
“Not really, at least I don’t try and think like that in a way," he said. "Up until now it’s all been equal within the team. I try not to think about that also, because I don’t want to put things in my head which maybe don’t exist.
"But at the same time if they could make him the youngest ever World Champion, for Red Bull as a brand it’s huge for them. From that point of view, I completely understand.
“But do I think they’ll go to measures to help him get there without helping me? I don’t think so. Especially now, not winning a championship since 2013, they’ll be ecstatic if either of us won.
"I don’t see that, but I understand from a marketing point of view.”
He also says he’s not worried about going up against Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari or Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, insisting that what happens on track is what counts.
“I kind of feel that the performances always speak for themselves," he said. "If I use Kimi [Raikkonen] and Valtteri [Bottas] as examples, they’re only now helping out Lewis and Seb, because they weren’t strong enough in the championship to be doing anything.
“For sure if Valtteri was ahead of Lewis, he wouldn’t be helping Lewis, if you know what I mean. I think if that was the case, then performance would speak higher.”
Mexican GP: Thursday's press conference
Mexico speed bumps "dangerous", says Ocon
About this article
|Drivers||Daniel Ricciardo Shop Now , Max Verstappen Shop Now|
|Teams||Red Bull Racing Shop Now|