Verstappen insists there are no ‘sides’ at Red Bull

Max Verstappen has dismissed suggestions that there are different sides at work in Milton Keynes this season, and says that Red Bull is now one big united team in pursuit of the world championship.

“What is important is to have the team just working together,” Verstappen told Channel 4 F1 this week. “Like fully both sides. I don’t even call it sides, because in our team there are no sides.”

That’s certainly very different from 2018, when Verstappen was paired with Daniel Ricciardo and there was friction between the two sides of the Red Bull garage throughout the season.

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Ricciardo said he felt he was being eased out and duly left at the end of the season for Renault.

His place in the team was initially taken by Pierre Gasly and then by Alexander Albon, but neither driver delivered the sort of consistency that the team management wanted to sustain their title campaign

Sergio Perez has helped Red Bull get on an even footing with Mercedes in the constructors championship and seems to have a good working relationship with Verstappen.

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“He’s a great addition to the team, and it’s very important to have both cars to score the points,” noted Verstappen.

“It’s good to have a challenge,” he added. “But I’m also very happy with Checo at the moment as a teammate, he is doing a great job.”

The team is yet to announce a decision on whether Perez would stay at Red Bull beyond the end of the current season.

“Obviously the sooner you know your future the better,” Perez told the media recently in Hungary. “But I am in a very comfortable position within the team, with my future, so nothing to worry about.

“I think by Belgium I will know my future, so I am comfortable how things are and no reason to look elsewhere.”

Verstappen said that he doesn’t want to get drawn into discussions about who might be in next year’s line-up.

“It doesn’t matter who I have as a teammate,” he stated. “I always believe in myself and I’m confident that I can always do a good job, so it doesn’t matter who they put alongside me.”

But for the next few weeks at least, Verstappen will have the chance to forget all about the politics of F1 as he heads off for a much needed summer holiday with his girlfriend Kelly Piquet.

Verstappen said that the fact that Kelly’s father is three-time world champion Nelson Piquet was of little significance to him.

“Of course he’s a legend in Formula 1,” he noted. “[But] it is my own career, I make my own choices and I will never compare myself to other drivers. That just suits me better.”

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