Verstappen: A teammate like Ricciardo good for me and Red Bull

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Max Verstappen believes choosing the strongest teammate for 2020 will be good for him and Red Bull.

This season the Dutchman has been left by himself to represent the Milton Keynes-based outfit against Mercedes and Ferrari as first Pierre Gasly and now Alex Albon tries to settle in alongside.

Already the British-Thai driver has made a strong case to keep that seat for next year and in Japan, enjoyed his best weekend yet, matching Verstappen in qualifying and finishing fourth in the race.

But Max admits he misses the dynamic with his 2018 partner.

“[I want] someone who can be in the fight and push me to greater heights as well,” said Verstappen at a Tag Heuer event this week in Amsterdam.

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“I think I had that ideal situation with Daniel [Ricciardo]. When I joined the team, I was of course more of a rookie and he was already there for a few years.

"Then you can learn and build up nicely, but at a certain point it also became more difficult for him because we were very close together the whole time.”

Though closer battles could result in more tension, Verstappen believes that is only positive in helping push Red Bull forward.

"I do think that last year we were able to test two different setups on a Friday. In the end, you could then take the best combination, or choose to go one direction," he explained to Ziggo Sport.

"Especially if you now go with a rookie to a circuit he does not know, you cannot expect him to work on the best setup straight away. He will get to know the track first.

"Now it is often up to my side of the garage to try different things, but because we are quite limited on how much we can drive, we cannot do a lot."

The 22-year-old did conclude, however, that even having Ricciardo may not have helped the team make much more progress than they have with the tricky RB15.

"I do not think Daniel would have made a large contribution to that," Verstappen stated.

"In the end, the car has to be developed further using the wind tunnel, and the setup will not change that much.

"We need new wings, a new floor, everything needs to be in constant development, but I think we were not as strong in that as in previous years."