Wednesday 12 April at 11:35 :
Apr.12 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko thinks Red Bull has "the best" overall driver lineup in formula one.
The comments follow speculation in the Italian media that Ferrari might be lining up Daniel Ricciardo to replace Kimi Raikkonen next season.
And Ricciardo's current Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen, was also linked with a potential switch to Mercedes for 2017 to replace the retiring Nico Rosberg.
But Marko has suggested the pair are going nowhere.
"We have the best and most balanced driving pairing. Both Max and Daniel are doing a great job and are at their absolute best," he told Auto Bild.
And he suggested that Red Bull's drivers are particularly valuable to the team at present, while Mercedes and Ferrari are clearly ahead in the pecking order.
"The drivers are our advantage at the moment," said Marko. "While we are not able to compete with Vettel and Hamilton, we can leave Raikkonen and Bottas behind, and that's our best damage limitation right now.
"We need to take as many points as possible before the European season starts in Barcelona, so that the gap is not too big."