JANUARY 2, 2019
Verstappen won't miss Ricciardo as teammate
Max Verstappen says he will not miss having Daniel Ricciardo as a teammate in 2019.
Australian Ricciardo shocked both Red Bull and the wider motor racing world by switching for this year to Renault.
"Personally I won't miss him," Verstappen told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, "but he was fun and pleasant to have as a teammate.
"That doesn't happen often and perhaps it won't happen again," he added. "But will I miss him? I believe Daniel will miss what he had here."
Dutchman Verstappen thinks Ricciardo is leaving Red Bull at the wrong time, just as it switches from customer Renault power to determined works partner Honda.
"Honda's whole attitude and the plans they have, it's totally different compared to what we were used to with Renault," he said.
"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," Verstappen said.
The 21-year-old is keeping expectations in check for 2019, but he does think Red Bull-Honda will be "closer" to Mercedes and Ferrari this year.
"Maybe it will not be enough to compete at every circuit. But we have to make steps during the season so that we can certainly compete for the title from the beginning of 2020," added Verstappen.