Hamilton: Teaming up with Ricciardo would be a "privilege"
Lewis Hamilton says it would be a "privilege" to have Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as a Formula 1 teammate should the situation arise in the future.
Ricciardo, whose Red Bull deal expires at the end of next season, said in Austin that he would like to go up against Hamilton in the same machinery while the Mercedes driver is in his prime.
“Daniel is a fantastic driver, it would be a privilege to race against him,” said Hamilton when asked by Motorsport.com for his reaction to Ricciardo’s comments.
“He’s a great character, he always bring a lot of positivity within his team.
“I think it’s interesting, I think it’s cool, I take the compliment that people say they [want to race against me].
“I don’t truly necessarily believe that people want to be up alongside me because that is not always necessarily the best thing for an individual. But in some cases, it could be a really good thing because it can help you grow.
“You look at Daniel, he’s got a great driver in his teammate [Max Verstappen] and to be honest, he has got to really work to outperform him first.
“You’ve always got to beat the person you’re with first before you can look at competing against someone else and beating them.
“That’s just my personal opinion.”
Hamilton is set to race alongside Valtteri Bottas next season, with both drivers’ contracts expiring at the end of 2018.
The championship leader has previously said a new dynamic at Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s departure has helped lift him to a new level.
Regarding the identity of his teammate in the longer term, Hamilton said he “doesn’t mind” who is in the other car but stressed the key is to maintain an air of positivity in the team.
“I already feel like I’ve raced against the best here, which in my personal opinion is Fernando [Alonso]," he said. “We have a great driver in Valtteri, who I’m enjoying racing with.
“There is a lot of great drivers here who I would be happy to race against.
“I don’t mind who I race against, anyone in the world, as long as there is some how you’re able to maintain positivity in the team and hopefully you’re still fighting another team as well.
“I think that harmony is incredibly important for everyone to be enjoying what they do.”
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