Formula 1

Ricciardo prepares for Qualifying at the US Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo comments on being second fiddle to Max Verstappen

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Daniel Ricciardo says he isn't afraid to speak out if Red Bull gives Max Verstappen an "unfair advantage" by favouring the teammate over him.

It follows Verstappen signing a new contract with Red Bull, securing his place with the team until at least 2020.

The contract extension came after team boss Christian Horner said: "We (Red Bull) would build the team around Verstappen."

The announcement of Verstappen extending his contract with the team came as a surprise for teammate Ricciardo.

"I know that Max is happy in the team, so I'm not surprised that he wants to stay with the team.

"I guess the announcement was quite early. I think the timing was the only real surprise."

But, does this raise questions about the future of Ricciardo and his role within the team?

At the US Grand Prix this weekend, Verstappen's car was fitted with the newest specification of Renault engine, which isn't expected to be available to Ricciardo for the rest of the year due to manufacturing constraints.

One thing we know for certain is, Riccardo will make sure his voice is heard loud and clear if he feels the team are giving Max an unfair advantage.

F1 Grand Prix of USA

"I will be honest, up until now I have not seen or experienced anything.

"I can't predict the future, but at least up until now there has not been any favouritism.

"If there was, you'd know about it because I'd be expressing my frustration for sure. It is not something I'd hide.

"Obviously I am aware that he has broken some records, and Red Bull especially as a brand would like him to break more. That is fine. I get how it boosts the brands image.

"So from a marketing point of view I get it, but behind our closed doors from an engineering status and equality there has been nothing at all like that.

F1 Grand Prix of USA

"You'd certainly know it if I was unhappy with how things were shaping up. And they have been fair. For sure the media gets excited, and I get it, but it is all been good."

Ricciardo's contract is up for renewal at the end of 2018, which would make him a free agent, but a decision on the future of the driver would be dependent on the competitiveness of the car.

"I think the biggest thing for me looking forward is whether we can build a car that can win a title.

"For sure if we come out next year and have a chance or put ourselves in a chance to win, then very likely I will want to stay on and extend my contract also.

"The performance is definitely still the number one box for me to tick."

What are your thoughts on this weekend's announcement from Red Bull? Let us know in the comments.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo

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