Daniel Ricciardo says seeing Pierre Gasly “a long way off” Max Verstappen at Red Bull made it a tough call at his former team as he felt they could have picked up more points this year.

Speaking during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, Ricciardo reflected on Gasly’s performances at Red Bull having seen the French driver come in when he left for Renault over the winter.

Having seen Gasly struggle to match the pace and performances of Verstappen over the opening half of this season, Ricciardo says he was surprised by the extent of the gap between the pair.

Verstappen has notched up 181 points to Gasly’s 63 so far this season, while the Dutch driver has picked up two wins and three further rostrums as his former teammate has failed to reach the podium.

“Tough one with him because the reality is he is a long way off Max,” Ricciardo said about Gasly. “So on one side they [Red Bull] are happy with Max and the first pole for him [in Hungary]. But on the other hand I think deep down they know that they could be scoring a lot more points.

“I don’t know what it is at the moment with Pierre because last year he got some big results with Toro Rosso, which was clearly not as good a car as the Red Bull. So a tough one.

“I know Max as a teammate and I didn’t expect Pierre to come out and beat him. I’m not surprised that Max is beating him, but I am surprised at the gap.”

Despite team boss Christian Horner signalling no intention to drop Gasly mid-season, earlier this week Red Bull announced Gasly would swap places with Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon for the remainder of the 2019 campaign.

Red Bull aims to assess all of its drivers – Gasly, Albon and Daniil Kvyat – over the second half of the 2019 F1 season to decide its 2020 line-ups at both Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Back in 2017 Verstappen signed a Red Bull contract extension keeping him at the team until at least the end of 2020.

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