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Ricciardo: "Verstappen contract extension gives Red Bull confidence"

  • Published on 20 Oct 2017 23:05
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo says that Max Verstappen's decision to extend his Red Bull contract to 2020 gives the team confidence for next season. As it stood, the energy drink team could have lost its current line-up after next season, with many believing it to be the strongest pairing on the grid.

However, Red Bull has now tied Verstappen down until at least after the 2020 season, while it is currently negotiating with Ricciardo. The Australian's deal is set to run out at the end of 2018, with some linking him to a seat at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking about his situation heading into next year, the five-time Grand Prix winner told Sky F1: "It's not that I've said no to anything. It's just still quite early I think. People talked about contracts and the silly season for next year but it is still quite early," he stated.

Red Bull started the 2017 season on the back foot and was around 1.5 seconds down on Mercedes and Ferrari at the start of the campaign. However, it has since closed the gap dramatically, leading to speculation that the Milton Keynes squad could be title contenders in 2018.

With Verstappen's future at Red Bull secured, Ricciardo thinks it will make spirits much more positive within the team: "On the positive side, I think his news gives us good confidence for next year," he said. "He and his management see a lot of positives in the team to continue like that.

"I'm 100 percent here next year and I think it gives both of us confidence we will keep progressing the way we are. Max gets a lot of attention and he's broken records for his age. As far as what's happening inside the team, new parts on the car, things like this there has always been equality. As far as I'm concerned the [terminology] is media stuff but not anything internal. I have no concern on that."

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (4)

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  • Ricciardo is still a top 3 driver for me. I think Red Bull has an ideal situation right now with the strongest driver pairing of the grid. However, if they are going to do with Max like they did with Vettel say goodbye to that healthy, fun, and competitive atmosphere in the team. It will also scare other good drivers from sticking with Red Bull.

    • + 0
    • Oct 20 2017 - 23:34
    • I would love to see him at Hamilton at Mercedes in 2019

      • + 0
      • Oct 20 2017 - 23:40
    • 130R

      Posts: 5

      Hopefully Red Bull learned something from the Vettel/Webber years and don't go down that road again. I would hate to see Danny Ric set up as a 2nd driver wherever he goes. For my money he would top both Vettel or Hamilton with equal equipment. Hopefully we get to see him in a competitive car regardless of where it is!

      • + 0
      • Oct 21 2017 - 03:02
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Lots depend on the engine deal in 2019. The contract finishes the same time as vettels. So if all goes well he will do well with redbull and move to ferrari after. He will have been with the redbull family for 5 years than. Also mega money will have been offered... between 17-23M i'd think.

    • + 0
    • Oct 21 2017 - 00:17

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