Max Verstappen says he sees no reason to consider interest from rival Formula 1 teams following his mid-season promotion from Toro Rosso to Red Bull.
The teenager will swap places with Daniil Kvyat from the Spanish Grand Prix onward, with Red Bull claiming the move takes the pressure off the Russian as well as easing tension that was building at Toro Rosso between Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr.
It has also been speculated that the switch safeguards Verstappen, who is in the middle of a three-year contract, from considering offers to join rival teams.
“To be honest, I was always very happy at Red Bull,” said Verstappen during a visit to the main team’s Milton Keynes, UK factory. “I never saw reason to change and of course with this opportunity there is no reason to change so I’m happy to be here.
“This team is very competitive and I’m also a very competitive person, so hopefully it’ll be a perfect match. It’s a great honor and it’s a top team and that’s where every driver wants to drive.”
Verstappen said the news came as a shock to him, just four races into the 2016 season.
“Of course I was very happy – a bit shocked as well,” he said. “I didn’t expect it, but yeah I’m very happy with the opportunity. I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull and Dr. Helmut Marko and now I just can’t wait to jump in the car.
“I go [to the Spanish GP] with no expectations. I wouldn’t say more pressure. I just want to adapt to the car, understand it better and see what my teammate [Daniel Ricciardo] is doing, because the most important thing is to score points.
“I just hope to feel comfortable in the car – I’ve never driven the RB12 before, so we’ll find out in Barcelona.”