Max Verstappen is unsure current teammate Daniel Ricciardo made the right decision in quitting Red Bull to join Renault for the 2019 Formula 1 season, with the move coming as a surprise to the Dutch driver.

Ricciardo announced at the start of the summer break he would be leaving Red Bull after five seasons in order to join Renault on a two-year deal starting next year, with the move coming as a surprise to much of the F1 paddock.

Singapore #1

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Verstappen, who is tied to a long-term deal at Red Bull, said on Thursday in Belgium that while he understood Ricciardo’s desire to pursue a new challenge, he was unsure if Renault was the right place to do so.

“I think everybody has moments in their careers when they’re frustrated, or you’re not happy with the current situation,” Verstappen said.

“I think everybody here wants to win races and wants to win championships. Sometimes it’s not like that, you have to really be patient and work hard for it, so you need the whole package to come together.

“I think that’s what Red Bull is working on at the moment, and I’m confident that they can deliver a car which is capable of winning every race. We just need the whole package. We are working towards that.

“That’s why also it was a little bit of a surprise for me that he left.

“If he wanted a change of scenery, I’m not sure it’s the best scenery to go to.”

Verstappen will be joined at Red Bull by current Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly for 2019, whose promotion was confirmed ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen said that he didn’t “expect any trouble” working with Gasly, but did not necessarily see himself taking up the mantle as team leader at Red Bull next year despite having over 50 more grands prix under his belt.

“I think within Red Bull, we’ve always been treated equally, so I don’t see a difference in that coming up,” Verstappen said.

“Also I don’t feel like a leader. I just try to do the best possible job for the team and for myself and of course I have more experience than him.

“So I’ll just try to use that to my advantage.”

Belgian GP - Memorable Moments

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