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Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo

Horner: We want Ricciardo and Verstappen at Red Bull until 2020

Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo

Amid reports that Red Bull have a Plan-B should Daniel Ricciardo depart the team, when his contract expires at the end of 2018, team chief Christian Horner is adamant that he wants to keep the Australian alongside Max Verstappen as long as possible.

Horner told reporters at Suzuka, “The absolute intention is we want Ricciardo and Verstappen in Red Bull Racing cars going forward. They both enjoy being in the team.”

“I think the difference with Daniel is for the first time in his career at Red Bull he’s got an end in sight to his contract.”

Red Bull’s driver chief Helmut Marko sparked the debate, last week, when he said, “Ricciardo is already on the market. We have to look for alternatives. We will not be unprepared.”

But Horner elaborated, “[Ricciardo’s] technically out of contract at the end of 2018 because he will have completed a five-year contract, but what is absolutely clear is that it’s our intention to retain both of our drivers, I would say until 2020.”

However he did admit that the team have that Plan-B tucked away in a drawer, “I wanted to keep [Sainz] under contract as an option should one of the drivers [after] next year not be with us.”