AUSTIN -- Daniel Ricciardo says he will not be afraid to express his frustration if Red Bull starts to favour teammate Max Verstappen over him.
Verstappen signed a new contract with Red Bull this weekend that will keep him at the team until the end of 2020. In the official announcement, team boss Christian Horner said Red Bull would build its team around Verstappen, raising questions over how Ricciardo fits into the equation long-term.
At this weekend's U.S. Grand Prix, Verstappen's car was fitted with the newest specification of Renault engine which, due to manufacturing constraints, is not expected to be made available to Ricciardo for the rest of year. Ricciardo said he was unaware of the disparity in engine specifications but made clear that he would speak out if he felt the team was giving Verstappen an unfair advantage.
"I will be honest, up until now I have not seen or experienced anything," he said. "I can't predict the future but at least up until now there has not been any favoritism.
"If there was you'd know about it because I'd be expressing my frustration for sure. It is not something I'd hide.
"Obviously I am aware that he has broken some records, and Red Bull especially as a brand would like him to break more. That is fine. I get how it boosts the brands image.
"So from a marketing point of view I get it, but behind our closed doors from an engineering status and equality there has been nothing at all like that.
"You'd certainly know it if I was unhappy with how things were shaping up. And they have been fair. For sure the media gets excited, and I get it, but it is all been good."
Ricciardo's contract is up for renewal at the end of 2018, making him a free agent when the current contracts of the Mercedes drivers and Kimi Raikkonen expire. He said his future would mainly rest on the competitiveness of the car.
"I think the biggest thing for me looking forward is whether we can build a car that can win a title. For sure if we come out next year and have a chance or put ourselves in a chance to win, then very likely I will want to stay on and extend my contract also. The performance is definitely still the number one box for me to tick."