Teen sensation Max Verstappen, 19, not only hogs the media headlines, but he also seems to receive the lion’s share of attention doled out by Red Bull.
For instance, just recently Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz said his big dream is that Verstappen becomes the youngest world champion in F1 history.
“The next day after Dietrich said that I called him directly on the phone,” Australian Ricciardo said. “I said ‘I’ve read your comments — unless you pay me $10 million dollars, I’m leaving’.”
Spain’s El Confidencial newspaper said the Red Bull press officer interjected immediately to clarify that the always-grinning Ricciardo was of course joking.
Ricciardo confirmed: “Honestly, I don’t really care what goes on in the media, and I don’t take those kind of comments from my bosses personally at all.
“I know I have a good relationship with Red Bull and I’ve always been loyal to them as well,” the 28-year-old continued.
“They’re never unfair to me in any way and from their point of view, I understand why it’s so much about Max. He’s the youngest driver in history and as a brand it makes for pretty good headlines.
“In the end, I know this is also a business,” Ricciardo added.
And so Ricciardo says he is happy with his situation at Red Bull.
“I am proving that I’m a good driver and I don’t feel that Verstappen eclipses me in any way even if he has a lot more coverage in the media,” he said.