Verstappen: "Don't think Ricciardo could've contributed much" to RB15 development

19-10-2019 09:30
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Verstappen: Don't think Ricciardo could've contributed much to RB15 development

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing star Max Verstappen doesn't think his team misses his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who switched from the Bulls to Renault for the 2019 season, as Alexander Albon currently occupies the RB15 next to Verstappen.

The Dutchman was teammates with Ricciardo ever since he got promoted to Red Bull back in 2016, when he replaced Daniil Kvyat. They were always well-matched as there was no clear number one driver at the team, although Verstappen did seem to become that in 2018 as he consistently started out-performing Danny Ric.

In the summer of 2018, Ricciardo announced he'd leave Red Bull at the end of the season for Renault, which came as a shock to many. Pierre Gasly got promoted to take the 30-year-old's place, but it didn't go to plan as Gasly struggled massively to get the most out of the car. He got axed during the summer and Albon took his seat, with the Thai impressing so far as he finished fourth in Japan.

When asked whether the RB15 would be performing better if Ricciardo was still there, Verstappen remained realistic as ever.

"I don't think so," the 22-year-old told Ziggo Sport.

"I don't think he could've contributed much [to the RB15]. The only difference is that in the past years, we could go two ways on Fridays in terms of set-up. You could choose the best set-up out of those after that or a combination of the two.

"Especially when you have a rookie going to circuits where he's never been, you can't expect to do the same."

Despite his young age, Verstappen now is the old head at Red Bull in terms of experience, as he continued to explain most of the experimenting in the set-up is coming from his side of the garage.

"Now, it's up to me to try things, but you're limited in the things you can do - you're limited in the amount you can drive [during free practice].

"In the end, the car has to be developed in the wind tunnel; you can't do much about that in terms of set-up."

With all of his experience, it's easy to forget Verstappen is still the younger driver in the Red Bull garage!

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