Daniel Ricciardo believes former Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team-mate Max Verstappen has the potential to be a Formula 1 great in the future.
The two drivers have been team-mates at the Milton Keynes based team for three seasons, capturing nine wins together between 2016 and 2018.
Last year saw Verstappen record his best season to date, despite suffering a shaky start when he was involved in six accidents in the opening six races. Both drivers took two wins in 2018 but Verstappen ended the year ahead of Ricciardo in the drivers’ championship, with the Dutch driver finishing in fourth whilst Ricciardo ended his time at Red Bull in sixth.
For 2019, changes will be made at the Red Bull team. Ricciardo and Renault leave Red Bull with Honda joining the team, in a bid to bounce back in the title mix. Pierre Gasly joins the team alongside Verstappen as Ricciardo departed the team in favour of a seat at a Renault works team.
Ricciardo spoke on a Red Bull podcast and said that Verstappen has the potential to be a Formula 1 great, if the car is suitable to him.
“There’s a lot of potential, for sure some potential greatness for Max,” said Ricciardo.
“I think it’s all about the trajectory. He was quick from day one but I’m convinced he’s a lot quicker than his first win for Red Bull.
“So, I’m sure he’ll keep improving, but it’s probably going to be more of a scenario if he’s going to be in a car that’s capable.
The Australian added that he enjoyed battling with the Dutch driver during his tenure at the Red Bull team, adding that the pair have grown as drivers which has been beneficial to their careers in the sport.
“That’s probably going to dictate what levels of greatness he’s going to achieve. He’s obviously very talented and I’ve enjoyed the challenge with him, the rivalry.
“I think we’ve both grown as drivers – it’s been beneficial to both of our careers.”