Max Verstappen has insisted he would be open to being reunited with Daniel Ricciardo as Red Bull teammates in F1.
The Australian makes his return to the grid with AlphaTauri at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix after being chosen to replace Nyck de Vries, who was dropped after just 10 races with the Faenza-based outfit.
Ricciardo had rejoined Red Bull as third driver after his own divorce from McLaren at the end of last season, four seasons on from leaving the Milton Keynes-based outfit for Renault [now Alpine] at the end of 2018.
His time alongside Verstappen threatened to spill over with tension, not least after the pair collided at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that year, though the relationship between the duo now flourishes.
Asked if he would be willing to be paired back with the eight-time race winner, Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365: "I never actually wanted him to leave.
"We know that we get on very well, if Daniel does well where he is now, then of course he has the opportunity to go back up, so it is all open."
Ricciardo 'ready to go'
Ricciardo's return has left de Vries with an uncertain future, with his route back to motorsport likely to come in either Formula E or endurance racing.
Addressing the changes, Verstappen said: "It's great to have Daniel back on the grid within the family.
"On the other side, I am good friends with Nyck, so it's also sad to see him go. But unfortunately, that's how this world works.
"I don't think there are any hard feelings between the drivers. The opportunity is here with Daniel again, he has had his little reset, so I think he is ready to go again."