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Verstappen: I was always going to stay at Red Bull

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Verstappen: I was always going to stay at Red Bull
By:
May 6, 2016, 8:45 AM

Max Verstappen said he never considered ever needing to leave Red Bull’s Formula 1 operation, prior to his call-up to its main team.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing visits the factory
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing visits the factory
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing visits the factory
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11

The Dutchman had been widely tipped to move from Toro Rosso for 2017, but in the wake of Daniil Kvyat’s early season struggles the switch to Red Bull Racing has taken place with immediate effect.

Had Verstappen not got his Red Bull chance next year, then it was understood there was scope in his contract for him to be a free agent in F1 – with Mercedes and Ferrari having been interested in him.

However, speaking during a visit to Red Bull’s F1 factory for his seat-fitting and first simulation runs in the RB12, Verstappen has played down the prospect of driving for anyone else.

“To be honest, I was always very happy at Red Bull,” he said in an interview with Red Bull’s website. 

“I never saw reason to change and of course with this opportunity there is no reason to change so I’m happy to be here.”

No pressure

Although Red Bull will want Verstappen to deliver what Kvyat could not in the first races, he insists he is approaching his new challenge exactly the same as before.

And he is clear that the pressure heaped on him to perform is no greater than he put on himself at Toro Rosso.

“I go there with no expectations to be honest,” he said. “I just want to adapt to the car, understand it better and better every session and like I said before, study the data and see what my teammate is doing because the most important thing is to score points.”

He added: “Of course I’m driving for a top team now, but in the end you always try to do your best which is what I always try to do. For me, I don’t feel more pressure.”

Shock call

With the situation between Kvyat and Verstappen developing rapidly last week, with Motorsport.com revealing on Wednesday that a switch was being considered, the man himself has admitted a bit of surprise when he was told what was happening.

“Well, of course I was very happy,” he said. “A bit shocked as well - I didn’t expect it, but yes I’m very happy with the opportunity of course.

"I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull and Dr Helmut Marko and now I just can’t wait to jump into the car.”

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