Cape Town - Red Bull boss Christian Horner has confirmed the F1 team will "look more towards" Max Verstappen next season, following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo.
With Ricciardo leaving for a fresh challenge with Renault, Max Verstappen is now the most experienced driver at Red Bull with new team-mate Pierre Gasly about to embark on his second full season.
Red Bull have always insisted that Verstappen and Ricciardo got equal treatment during their time together as team-mates, but only a few were buying that particular line.
The four-time world champions have made no secret that they want to clinch a historic title with Verstappen and, if he wasn't already, he is certainly going to be the centre of attention now.
"Max is now the experienced one. So the team will be looking towards him more now," Horner told Dutch publication Formule 1.
"Pierre of course has the potential to develop and make life difficult for Max.
"Hopefully they'll push each other and help to get the best out of each other, just like Max and Daniel did."
Horner also said that he is still surprised by Ricciardo's decision to leave the team.
"I'm still surprised, but I respect that he wanted something new," he said.
"But I think he'd already made his choice by then. Whether he would take the same decision now? I don't know.
"But he made his choice and we are very happy with Pierre (Gasly)."