Daniel Ricciardo

Verstappen is forcing me to increase my level – Ricciardo

Verstappen is forcing me to increase my level - Ricciardo

Verstappen is forcing me to increase my level – Ricciardo

As news emerges that Red Bull’s driver lineup is now set in stone for the next two years, Daniel Ricciardo says he is happy alongside F1 teen sensation Max Verstappen.

Although the Australian had been linked with a move to Ferrari, reports suggest Red Bull has definitely secured the 26-year-old until the end of 2018.

“There is no chance the driver lineup at Red Bull Racing will change until the end of 2018,” Dr Helmut Marko confirmed to Germany’s Auto Bild.

He said he is more than happy with Verstappen, 18, and Ricciardo.

Speaking about team newcomer Verstappen, Marko said: “He has exceeded my expectations and not just because of his victory in Barcelona.

“Mentally he is much older than 18 — he knows exactly where he wants to go.”

Ricciardo told Brazilian radio Band News FM that he is happy to have Verstappen as his teammate.

“It’s great. Obviously I’ve been impressed since he came into the team. He is committed, he has a lot of speed and I think he’s forcing me to increase my level.

“It has been very positive for the team,” he added.

Gerhard Berger, a close friend of Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, thinks the premier energy drink-owned team is now well set up for the future.

“For Ferrari it’s different,” he told Welt newspaper. “They have a good engine, a good chassis, a good team, they just have to improve everything a little bit.

“But the only thing Red Bull needs to be better is the engine,” said Berger.

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