Max Verstappen is looking to continue the “good atmosphere” he enjoyed at Red Bull with Daniel Ricciardo when he links up with new Formula 1 teammate Pierre Gasly.

With Ricciardo switching to midfield leaders Renault in 2019, Red Bull has promoted Pierre Gasly after just a single full-season in F1 at Toro Rosso to partner Verstappen for the start of the team’s tenure powered by Honda engines.

Ricciardo and Verstappen claimed nine grands prix victories between them during their spell as Red Bull teammates, which began at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Both drivers took two wins apiece in 2018 in what was their most successful year together.

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Speaking about Ricciardo’s departure in a Q&A with Red Bull, Verstappen said: “What I think is really nice is that Daniel is in general always a very positive person.

“He’s always smiling and it’s a good atmosphere being around him. It’s better than having a grumpy team-mate who doesn’t really speak to you.

“That’s maybe not a lesson, but just having a good atmosphere in the team is very important, so for sure I’ll take that onboard and will try to create that with Pierre as well.”

Asked for his earliest memory of racing against Gasly, the Dutchman replied: “It was my first international season in go-karting and I think it was Pierre’s second. We were racing against each other the whole season and we had a few good battles.

"At the time we were not talking a lot, I think Pierre was not that good at English and neither was I. You’re 12 years old, so it’s a bit different.

“Throughout the years you always stay in contact; your paths cross again through the other series.

“Then he ended up in the Red Bull programme. He’s a very fast driver but also a very nice guy to be with and that’s important.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who believes the Verstappen-Ricciardo line-up was Red Bull's strongest-ever, said Gasly will be “stepping into big shoes” following Ricciardo’s exit from the Milton Keynes-based squad.

“They know each other well,” Horner explained. “They’ve roomed with each other, they’ve raced with each other since karting.

“There’s a healthy respect between the two of them. Pierre is stepping into big shoes.”

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