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2018 F1

Verstappen happy with Ricciardo replacement

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Max Verstappen says he is happy with Red Bull’s pick for his new teammate.

The Dutchman says he cannot understand why Daniel Ricciardo decided to quit Red Bull and switch instead to the less competitive works Renault team.

“He had already committed to Dietrich Mateschitz, the big boss of Red Bull, so I didn’t understand that,” Verstappen told the Dutch publication Formule 1. “Nobody in the team understands it.

“But I never talked to him about it — it’s not my problem.”

Some believe Ricciardo was worried about Red Bull’s switch to Honda power, while others think the Australian decided to flee the team’s increasing focus on Verstappen.

Indeed, 21-year-old Verstappen hinted that he may have had some influence over Red Bull’s choice of replacement for Ricciardo.

“In the end it’s not about me saying yes or no. That’s not my decision,” he explained.

“But I clearly told them what will work and what will not work. I am not going to mention names, but I am glad that Pierre Gasly is coming,” Verstappen said.

“He is very nice and very fast, but I am afraid of no one. I fear no one,” he insisted.

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