Daniel Ricciardo is still receiving equal treatment at Red Bull despite his impending departure, insists team boss Christian Horner. Ricciardo shocked the paddock in August when he announced he would be stepping down at Red Bull to make a move to Renault for 2019.
Ricciardo has been out out-qualified by teammate Max Verstappen for much of the 2018 season, and is currently 24 points behind the Dutchman in the driver's standings. Last year, Verstappen extended his contract with Red Bull until the end of the 2020 season.
But despite Verstappen being the man it has secured for the future, Horner says that Ricciardo will continue to have equal treatment until the end of the year. Speaking to Sky F1, he said that the emphasis is not on Verstappen for the remainder of the season.
"No, not at all. The emphasis is on getting the best out of both guys. At each Grand Prix weekend they get the same opportunity. It’s down to what they do on the track at the end of the day. That will continue to be the case right through until Abu Dhabi.”
Ricciardo has been a part of the Red Bull programme since 2008 and made his debut for the energy drink team in 2014. Horner says that the 29-year-old remains an integral part of the team who provides strong feedback to help it develop.
“We’re looking to learn as much as we can. Daniel still gives us extremely good and accurate feedback," the Briton said. "There’s no difference in the way that parts are being allocated.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing