Daniel Ricciardo says he believes former team-mate Sebastian Vettel still has the hunger to continue in Formula 1 beyond the end of 2020.
Vettel, 32, will leave Ferrari after the conclusion of the delayed 2020 campaign and has yet to outline his plans, insisting he will take time to evaluate his future.
Ricciardo, who will move to McLaren to take the seat of Vettel’s replacement Carlos Sainz Jr., raced alongside Vettel at Red Bull during the 2014 season.
“If I know him well enough, I believe he’s still hungry and competitive enough to want to continue,” Ricciardo said in an interview with CNN Sport.
“Also, because he’s still older than me! So it makes me not the oldest guy!
“I like Seb. Obviously, I had him as a team-mate, but as a competitor he brings something to our sport.
“He’s one of the very few if not the only one that isn’t active on social media, and he’s one of the most successful people ever in our sport, yet he’s one of the most private. And even that in itself brings a lot of mystery behind him.”
Ricciardo’s move to McLaren will bring to an end his two-year spell with Renault, which has so far yielded a best race finish of fourth, achieved in Italy last season.
Ricciardo stressed that there was no one key factor which prompted him to make the move.
“I guess no decision is ever black and white,” he added. “And I can’t actually give you a black and white answer.
“There wasn’t any moment, which was like a light bulb and said, ‘Yes, that’s what I need to do.’
“Equally, there wasn’t something I saw in McLaren, which created that or there wasn’t something in Renault, which created the moment of ‘I have to move on.’
“Obviously it’s not an overnight decision. I guess to compare as well the two I don’t think that’s fair.”