Ricciardo Admits Surprise at Timing of Verstappen Contract Extension

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Daniel Ricciardo admitted to being surprise to just how early the new contract extension for Max Verstappen was signed, feeling that he was expecting the decision to come at a much later date than it did.

Verstappen’s contract with Red Bull Racing was extended to cover until the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season, with the announcement coming during the early stages of the United States Grand Prix, but whilst surprised with the timing, Ricciardo was not surprised that the Dutchman agreed the deal, saying he is extremely happy at Red Bull at this time.

“I know obviously that Max is happy in the team, so I’m not surprised that he wants to stay with the team,” said Ricciardo on Motorsport.com. “I guess the announcement was quite early. I think the timing was the only real surprise.

“For Max, the positive is he and I guess his team, his management and his dad [Jos], feel confident with Red Bull, so it’s positive for us for next year and it gives the team confidence.

“A bit surprised it came this early, but otherwise not surprised his decision is to stay because I know he’s happy with the team.”

Ricciardo’s own future is secure up until the end of 2018, but unlike Verstappen, he is in no immediate rush to extend his contract beyond then, although he says there is no particular reason why he won’t sign on the dotted line.

“Definitely still here for the end of next year,” said Ricciardo. “I could possibly be here longer than that, but I don’t think it’s going to be something which is going to be announced as soon as Max.

“But for no real reason, the only reason in particular I think there’s still enough time on our side. I don’t think it needs to be a quick decision at the moment.”