Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko says that both Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly will be treated as equals at the energy drink team in 2019. Gasly joins in place of Daniel Ricciardo, who opted to leave the team in favour of Renault.
Gasly will partner Max Verstappen, who has been at the team since 2016, and will enter his fourth year with the four-time world champions. Having picked up five wins in his current stint at the Milton Keynes outfit, the Dutchman has proved himself to be one of the fastest on the track.
But Marko says that Verstappen will not get special treatment, stating that both drivers will be treated as equals: "Gasly comes as a youngster," Marko said to Motorsport-Magazin.
"So it's very clear that he has to adhere to the rules of Red Bull Racing. It's easy: Max is much more familiar with the team. Gasly is free to race, he just needs to show performance. They are equal."
Red Bull failed to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for the titles in 2018, and had a clear disadvantage in qualifying. However, in the second half of the season, it came alive and was in contention for victory at many of the races.
Next year, Red Bull will take on Honda power units, ending its long-standing relationship with Renault, a partnership that has been strained in recent years. Marko believes that Red Bull has the strongest chassis in the field, and it only needs a strong engine to compete consistently with Mercedes and Ferrari.
"The second half of the season makes us extremely positive about the development of the chassis. Clearly we have the best. Reliability on the Red Bull side has improved, even from Renault. And so has Max, since Paul Ricard made no mistakes."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing