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Verstappen hints at 2019 teammate decision influence

  • Published on 19 Dec 2018 14:41
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen has suggested that he had some form of impact on Red Bull's driver decision for 2019. The energy drink outfit was forced to decide on a new driver following Daniel Ricciardo's announcement that he would be leaving at the end of the year.

Pierre Gasly received the promotion to the senior team from Toro Rosso, while Carlos Sainz, who was at Renault on loan from Red Bull, was also believed to be in contention. After Gasly was confirmed, McLaren announced that it had signed Sainz for 2019.

Verstappen and Sainz were teammates at Toro Rosso in 2015, their maiden season in the sport. The relationship was not always smooth, which was highlighted at the Singapore Grand Prix, where Verstappen refused to let the Spaniard past him despite team orders.

Reports over the summer break suggested that Verstappen was against Sainz joining Bull in 2019, however Sainz shut down those rumours, stating that the Dutchman didn't veto a switch to the Milton Keynes squad.

But now Verstappen has said that he told the team what he believed would work well for it next year: "In the end, it’s not about me saying yes or no. That’s not my decision,” he told Formule 1. “But I clearly told them what will work and what will not work. I am not going to mention names, but I am glad that Pierre Gasly is coming. He is very fast, but I am afraid of no one. I fear no one.”

Speaking about Ricciardo's unexpected departure, he said: “He had already committed to Dietrich Mateschitz, the big boss of Red Bull, so I didn’t understand that (leaving). Nobody in the team understands it. But I never talked to him about it – it’s not my problem.”

Replies (6)

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  • In the end, Mclaren is a winner to gain an experienced and mature driver, who doesn't need to remind everyone around him that "but I am afraid of no one. I fear no one".

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2018 - 18:42
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      If Sainz was rated in the same category as verstappen or Ricciardo he would have been retained. He wasn't so the conclusion is that he isn't. Underwhelmed with his performances last year.

      • + 1
      • Dec 20 2018 - 00:31
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Yeah, immature, sounds like a boxer, a bit desperate (the season hasn't started yet !!). I hope Gasly doesn't quickly fall into defacto number2 driver territory.

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2018 - 23:41
  • Im not sure which driver I wanna see beat the other one now..

    • + 0
    • Dec 20 2018 - 06:59
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Like Redbull I would like the fasted driver to be in front. Whichever it is, until they race against each other we don't know who is the fastest. I'd like to see a close battle but I don't think we will see that,

      You got to wonder how this article was put together, however him stating what would work and his preference isn't the same as saying that choice laid with him or that his opinion had any influence or redbull decision. In the years before we have seen that actually they are quite open about drivers racing one another. I think the Redbull ethos is much better than Mercedes or Ferrari with respect to handling their drivers.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2018 - 08:18
    • Mind, it wouldnt surprise me if he did have a say in it. Most drivers do, especially the top divas, there is no reason for why Max wouldnt get a say in it.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2018 - 17:29

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