Verstappen hints he had team-mate influence

Date published: December 19 2018

Max Verstappen: Influence over team-mate?

Max Verstappen has said he did have some suggestions over “what would work” at Red Bull with regards to his 2019 team-mate.

Red Bull were forced into finding a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, who shocked the team by announcing his decision to leave them for Renault next season.

Reports emerged in the summer that Verstappen was not willing to work with Carlos Sainz, another driver in the running alongside eventual choice Pierre Gasly, as their previous relationship at Toro Rosso in 2016 turned sour.

Sainz later in the year said that this was not the case, but Verstappen has suggested he may have at least had some influence in the decision-making process.

“In the end, it’s not about me saying yes or no. That’s not my decision,” Verstappen told Formule 1.

“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.

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

As for Ricciardo’s decision to leave, Verstappen said that nobody in the team was expecting him to go.

“He had already committed to Dietrich Mateschitz, the big boss of Red Bull, so I didn’t understand that (leaving),” he added.

“Nobody in the team understands it.

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

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