Daniel Ricciardo surprised by timing of new Max Verstappen F1 deal

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo says he was surprised by the timing of team-mate Max Verstappen's early contract extension with the Formula 1 team

Daniel Ricciardo surprised by timing of new Max Verstappen F1 deal

Verstappen has endured a mixed campaign with Red Bull this year, but it was announced on Friday at the United States Grand Prix that the Dutchman had extended his deal to the end of 2020.

Ricciardo, whose current contract with Red Bull expires at the end of 2018, said he was not expecting Verstappen to put pen to paper on an extension so early.

"I know that Max is happy in the team, so I'm not surprised that he wants to stay with the team," Ricciardo commented.

"I guess the announcement was quite early. I think the timing was the only real surprise.

"For Max, the positive is he and his team, his management and his dad [Jos], feel confident with Red Bull, so it's positive for us for next year and it gives the team confidence.

"A bit surprised it came this early, but otherwise not surprised his decision is to stay because I know he's happy."

Ricciardo insisted that Verstappen's news changed nothing regarding his own contract situation, adding: "I could possibly be here longer [than 2018], but I don't think it's going to be something which is going to be announced as soon as Max.

"But for no real reason, I think there's still enough time on our side. I don't think it needs to be a quick decision at the moment."

Laying out his reasoning for making a longer-term commitment to Red Bull, Verstappen said he was motivated by his belief that the team "can build the best car on the grid".

"[The previous deal] was anyway running until '19, but I had a good feeling with the team - of course it has been a challenging year for us, but we definitely improved a lot, especially towards the end of the season," Verstappen said.

"We've built a great car, and I trust the guys, I believe in the guys, they believe in me.

"Our working relationship is also really good, so I guess that's [what] made me decide to extend."

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