Ahead of the 2019 season, Daniel Ricciardo parted ways with Red Bull to join Renault. However it seems that the team are not doing too badly with his services, at least according to Max Verstappen. The team are managing to stay comfortably in 3rd in the constructors championship, with Alexander Albon in the other RB15 next to Verstappen.
The Dutchman partnered the more experienced Ricciardo ever since he earned a promotion to Red Bull back in 2016. Both drivers were often evenly matched with no clear numero uno at the team. However, Max Verstappen soon established himself as top dog in 2018 as he consistently started out-performing Ricciardo.
When Ricciardo announced his departure from Red Bull, it caught Red Bull off guard massively. As a result, Pierre Gasly got an unexpected promotion, which backfired as Gasly struggled massively to get the most out of the car.
He was soon demoted to Toro Rosso and swapped out for Albon. The Thai driver has been impressive so far as he finished fourth in Japan and was consistently in the top 6.
When asked if Ricciardo’s presence would have made a difference, Max Verstappen told Ziggo Sport. “I don’t think so. I don’t think he could’ve contributed much [to the RB15]. The only difference is that in the past years, we could go two ways on Fridays in terms of set-up. You could choose the best set-up out of those after that or a combination of the two.”
“Especially when you have a rookie going to circuits where he’s never been, you can’t expect to do the same.”
“Now, it’s up to me to try things, but you’re limited in the things you can do – you’re limited in the amount you can drive [during free practice].
“In the end, the car has to be developed in the wind tunnel; you can’t do much about that in terms of set-up.”