Daniel Ricciardo has once again refuted claims Red Bull would favour Max Verstappen in its quest for its first drivers' championship crown since 2013.
Verstappen signed a new contract with the team which extends until the end of 2020 while Ricciardo's future with Red Bull is still up in the air with the Australian out of contract at the end of next season -- leaving suggestions he will join either Ferrari or Mercedes in 2019 depending on how next season goes in terms of competitiveness.
When asked again in Mexico whether Red Bull is becoming 'Max's team', Ricciardo rejected these claims, however, admits he understands the team's desire to make Verstappen the sport's youngest ever Formula One world champion.
"Not really, at least I don't try and think like that in a way. Up until now it has all been equal in the team, I try not to think about that also because I don't want to put things in my head which maybe don't exist. At the same time if they could make him the youngest ever world champion as Red Bull as a brand it is huge for them.
"From that point of view I completely understand. But do I think they will go to measures to help him get there without helping me, I don't think so. Especially now, not being champion since 2013, they will be ecstatic if either of us one. So I don't see that but I understand from a marketing point of view.''
Ricciardo has already stated he would like to go up against Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in the future. The Australian is in no rush to make a decision over his future and reckons he is in a stronger position than prior to Verstappen's renewal.
"I think so, I don't think it has hurt me in anyway, if anything it has made my position a bit stronger. I am sure if Max was on the radar at Ferrari or Mercedes, that has removed on opponent in a way. Red Bull have expressed they want to keep us as a pairing so it certainly has not hurt me. "I can be patient for now and see. I have the start of next season on my side in terms I can see where we are at as well. And then play it out. I am not going to pull the trigger on anything early. I can take my time.''