Red Bull Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has said he could see why the team would prioritise a world championship victory for teammate Max Verstappen if it came down to the two of them in the future.

Verstappen confirmed in Austin last weekend he had signed a new F1 contract with Red Bull taking him up to the 2020 season, with Ricciardo still yet to define his plans beyond the end of next season.

Red Bull stated it wanted to build the team around Verstappen in the future, leading to questions about Ricciardo's standing and position.

Asked if he thought there was a chance his teammate could be coming to dominate the team, Ricciardo said" "Not really, at least I don’t try and think like that in a way.

"Up until now it has all been equal in the team, I try not to think about that also because I don’t want to put things in my head which maybe don’t exist."

Ricciardo leads Verstappen in this year's standings by 69 points, but said he understood why the team might want to prioritise his teammate for marketing reasos.

"If they could make him the youngest ever world champion as Red Bull as a brand it is huge for them," Ricciardo said.

"From that point of view I completely understand."

"Do I think they will go to measures to help him get there without helping me? I don’t think so. 

"Especially now, not being champion since 2013, they will be ecstatic if either of us one. So I don’t see that, but I understand from a marketing point of view." 

He said that if anything, Verstappen's re-signing put him in a stronger position for the driver market, with the Dutchman being ruled out of future seats elsewhere.

"I am sure if Max was on the radar at Ferrari or Mercedes, that has removed on opponent in a way," Ricciardo said.

"Red Bull have expressed they want to keep us as a pairing so it certainly has not hurt me. I can be patient for now and see. I have the start of next season on my side in terms I can see where we are at as well.

"And then play it out. I am not going to pull the trigger on anything early.

"I can take my time."
 

 

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