Max Verstappen is confident Daniel Ricciardo will be his teammate at Red Bull in 2019.

Ricciardo’s future has dominated the media headlines in recent weeks with the Australian linked with Mercedes, Ferrari and even McLaren in recent weeks. Interest from Mercedes and Ferrari appears to have cooled with Red Bull looking likely to be his best option for 2019.

Verstappen has often heaped praise on his more experienced teammate and the Dutchman has reiterated his desire for Ricciardo to remain at the team for another season.

“The chances are very big for him to stay,” Verstappen said. “He is already here so why wouldn’t he stay? He is a great teammate to have. We have a lot of fun together, but also once we are in the car we are pushing each other to a higher level. I enjoy working with him. He is one of the best teammates to have in the paddock in terms of relationship, but also one of the toughest ones. But I like competition so it is perfect to have him as a teammate.”

After a tough start to the season with multiple high-profile mistakes, Verstappen has been back to his best with three podium finishes in the last four races. He says he hasn’t altered his approach as he eyes another top three finish in Austria this weekend.

“I haven’t really changed anything, it is just that sometimes the momentum is not in your direction,” Verstappen added. “Then you have to keep working hard to try and change that. It was already going in the right direction in Barcelona. Monaco is always a high-risk factor of a crash and unfortunately that happened. But even in the race overtaking was going well. So I was not too worried about it, and it seemed like from there onwards it just kept going in the right direction. So all good.

“A podium,” he replied when asked what his aim was for this weekend. “If we can challenge for a podium that would be really good for us. Of course we have finished on the podium for the last three years but the competition compared to 2016 got even stronger and in 17 there was also a little bit of luck involved with people having a penalty and not being able to pass because I think in terms of real pace we were not quick enough.

“So we will try again to take a bit of an advantage for whatever reason during the weekend.”