F1 News: Max Verstappen reveals how much influence he had in deciding teammate
What's the story?
Earlier this year, Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo announced that they would be parting ways as the Australian ended his partnership with the Austrian racing team, moving to Renault for the 2019 season.
Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen has now revealed the influence he had in deciding his teammate for next season, Pierre Gasly, who was promoted to the team from sister team, Toro Rosso.
In case you didn't know...
In August of this year, Ricciardo announced that he had signed a two-year contract with Renault Sport, starting from the 2019 season, which took most by surprise as Renault aren't at the same level as Red Bull Racing, presently.
The Renault engine has also proved to be a matter of concern for the factory team as well as Red Bull Racing, who have had multiple engine failures in the 2018 season, with Ricciardo the unlucky one on numerous occasions.
For the 2019 season, Red Bull will switch to Honda engines, much like their sister team Toro Rosso, who have had decent success with the Japanese company's engines at the back of their car.
The heart of the matter
Speaking about Ricciardo's replacement, Pierre Gasly, Verstappen said that he had no say in deciding his teammate but did tell the team which drivers would work for him and who wouldn't.
"In the end, it’s not about me saying yes or no. That’s not my decision. But I clearly told them what will work and what will not work. I am not going to mention names, but I am glad that Pierre Gasly is coming. He is very fast, but I am afraid of no one. I fear no one.”
The Belgian also revealed that his former Australian teammate had committed to staying at Red Bull by giving his word to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, but quit anyway. He said that he didn't understand Ricciardo's reason for leaving the team but he didn't speak to him about it.
Verstappen and the Red Bull team will test the new Honda engine on the track at Barcelona in February, before the first race in Australia in March.