Daniel Ricciardo has spoken out on Red Bull's comments about building the team around teammate Max Verstappen.
Verstappen is widely considered to be a future World Champion - and understandably, considering his list of records. The 20-year-old was the youngest driver in F1 history when he debuted for Scuderia Toro Rosso at just 17 and has gone on to set records as the youngest driver to lead a lap, the youngest to record the fastest lap, the youngest to podium, and the youngest to win a race.
It's therefore easy to see why Red Bull boss Christian Horner is eager to give the Dutchman everything necessary to fulfil his enormous potential.
On Friday, it was confirmed Verstappen had signed a contract extension until 2020, which came just days after Horner had revealed his desire to keep him for longer than his prior deal - which was due to expire in 2018.
“I think he can see the strength and depth of the team,” Horner told Autosport, “He feels comfortable in the team. He’s the youngest grand prix winner, he’s the youngest double winner, he’s the youngest points scorer.
“And Lewis is pretty set at Mercedes, Seb has signed for three years at Ferrari. The obvious thing is to build a team around [him]. But it’s down to us to provide him with a competitive car.”
The comments immediately brought talk of plans for Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
The Australian currently sits two places above Verstappen in the rankings and finds himself with vastly more experience at 28-years-old.
So how did he feel about his boss speaking so highly about his teammate?
“Max is 10 years younger than me,” he told Sky Sports News, as per Planet F1.
“I wouldn’t say we’re at different points in our career but, naturally because of his age, perhaps he’s in a different situation. That’s probably the best way of putting it.
“But we’re still racing to win, doing what we can, hopefully getting in the middle of Lewis and Seb. I’m hopeful of another win this year and hopefully this weekend can be the one.”
Ricciardo's reaction was certainly diplomatic. Only time will tell if that is how he really feels.
Are Verstappen and Ricciardo the best driver lineup in Formula right now? Let us know in the comments below!
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