Max Verstappen admits that he won’t miss Daniel Ricciardo as his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team-mate in 2019, but the Dutch driver says that the Australian was a fun and pleasant character to have around in the team.
The pair have been team-mates at Red Bull since the 2016 season and enjoyed a strong relationship together despite their clashes at some races during their tenure, notably their crash during the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Ricciardo decided to join the Renault F1 Team for 2019 with Pierre Gasly joining Red Bull as Verstappen’s team-mate. Red Bull will also see Renault depart as they’ll take in Honda engines for the first time in their history.
The Australian started the season strongly with two wins at China and Monaco, but reliability issues plagued the second half of the year and ended the season down in sixth whilst Verstappen managed to claim fourth place in the drivers’ championship.
When asked by Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad about whether he would miss Ricciardo as his team-mate, Verstappen replied saying he won’t and believes that he will miss what he had at the Red Bull team.
“Personally I won’t miss him but he was fun and pleasant to have as a teammate,” said Verstappen.
“That doesn’t happen often and perhaps it won’t happen again. But will I miss him? I believe Daniel will miss what he had here.”
Red Bull decided to end their 11-year relationship with Renault in 2018 and will enter a new era with Honda powered engines.
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, Red Bull’s sister team, used the Honda engine for the 2018 season, with Red Bull observing behind the scenes whether to switch to the Japanese engine supplier for the future.
Verstappen is convinced by Honda’s plans for the engines and believes Ricciardo has left the team at the wrong time.
“Honda’s whole attitude and the plans they have, it’s totally different compared to what we were used to with Renault,”
“With Renault we always had to push. It always had to come from us and it was usually ignored. Now it is the other way around and we are pushed to supply parts.
“They need gearboxes and things like that from us, which are really not that easy to make. But Honda just wants to test, test, test. They do more kilometres than I do on the circuit.”